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History of Rainwater Harvesting
Before there were public water utilities, many American households harvested rainwater. With the development of large, reliable water treatment and distribution systems, the appeal of rainwater harvesting diminished.
However, as the environmental and economic costs of providing centralized water escalate, a new interest in rainwater harvesting has emerged.
The easiest way to begin harvesting rainwater for your home is to use a rain barrel or rainwater tank to provide water for irrigating your plants.
What Is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the collecting and storing of rainwater. You can collect rainwater from a roof, which is the most common method, and store it in catchment tanks, such as rain barrels.
The water is free
Rainwater is better for plants
Your vegetables grow better
Rainwater harvesting helps
to reduce erosion
water flowing to storm water drains
and reduce stream pollution
Using stored rainwater
reduces electricity bills
reduces water bills!
Texas Tax Code 151.355 exempts rainwater harvesting equipment from sales
Like most things around your home, your rain barrel needs a little regular attention to keep working smoothly.
To keep it in the best shape:
Use all the water in the barrel regularly
Clean your gutters at least twice a year to reduce debris.
Once a year, during a dry spell, tip the barrel over and rinse it out with a hose
If your container contains organic matter, like leaves, water can smell.
Smelly water won’t hurt your plants, but it can be a nuisance.
To avoid smells:
Use all the water in the barrel within a month of collecting it.
A well-sealed screen will help keep mosquitoes from getting into your rain barrel.
What do you need?
A) 55-gallon polyethylene plastic barrel
B) 3/4-inch hose spigot
C) 3/4-inch pipe coupling
D) window screen
E) Teflon cement
F) water hose (optional)
G) bricks or concrete blocks (optional)
h) drill with 15/16-inch bit
I) saber saw
1. Inflow. Use the saber saw to cut a hole in the top of the barrel approximately the same diameter as your gutter downspout
Measure 3 to 4 inches from the bottom of the barrel and drill a 15/16- inch hole. Screw the spigot halfway into the barrel, apply some Teflon cement to the exposed threads, and continue to twist until tight
3. Overflow. Measure 3 to 4 inches from the top of the barrel and drill a 15/16-inch hole. Twist in the pipe coupling about one-quarter of the way, apply Teflon cement to the exposed threads in the middle portion of the coupling, and continue to screw it in, leaving 1 inch of thread exposed.
Connect the hose to the pipe coupling overflow spigot at the top of the barrel. You can run this hose into another barrel or to a soaker hose (which will automatically water your garden)
4. Downspout. Place the barrel directly below the downspout. You will need to reconfigure the downspout to flow into the hole. If you like, place the barrel on concrete blocks or bricks. Raising the barrel will allow you to get a bucket under the spigot, and will facilitate leveling the area where your barrel will sit Cover the hole on the top of the barrel with the window screen, to prevent sticks, rocks, or dirt from getting into your barrel. You can glue or nail this screen down or secure it with a few bricks or rocks to keep it from blowing away.
This information is based on the brochure published by
the TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Much more information about different rainbarrels, tanks,
how to collect rainwater, how to use it,
how to save a lot of money using rainwater in your washing machine
how to grow better healthier vegetables
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To grow healthy vegetables, rainwater is very helpful.
Your yard often cannot hold all the rainwater, so some of it will run into the next creek.
Hopefully this creek will have a healthy riparian area.
A riparian area is the dense band of vegetation hugging both sides of a creek, or river. It should cover the entire floodplain. Riparian areas provide important wildlife habitat and are an important water source for the ever growing human population.
Destroyed or abused riparian areas cannot fulfill their task of cleaning the water, holding the water and slowly releasing it, filling up aquifers - and much more.
Cattle or sheep or goats on a river edge destroy the valuable area
mowing weeds that are no weeds at all doesn't help either,
releasing men-made chemicals / oil and
clearing tress for a “better view” or to "save water" is about the worst people do to the river and to themselves.
Destroying riparian areas reduces a river’s capacity to retain water. The dense vegetation found in riparian areas acts like a sponge; when rivers flood, the plants slow the rushing water allowing more to soak into underground aquifers, and it acts like a filter, cleaning the water, providing additional oxygen and life!
Healthy food for healthy people!
Rainwater Harvesting will help you to grow great food!
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