Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting is another key component of Water Neutral Gardens™. In the Monterey Bay region, we receive a range of 28 – 80 inches of rainfall from September to June each year. Rainwater is the best water for our plants because it is the purest, lacks salts and other minerals, and is without chemicals that our chlorinated municipal water systems supply. Plants love it, so it is a great way to flush any build up of salts in our soils. Here are some ways you can start collecting water:

Simple rainbarrel harvesting system

Rainbarrels: An easy way to start is with a simple rainbarrel or rainbarrels in series system. Some advantages of these are the water is free and you have an opportunity to connect with nature through the hydrological cycle. In addition to this, a 55 gallon rainbarrel has the potential of collecting over 250 gallons per season. Since there are periods of drought during the fall, winter and spring, the rainbarrel can be emptied repeatedly during that time and filled with the next rainfall. Cost: from $50 – $200 depending on whether your do the work yourself and find recycled rainbarrels. Setting up first flush diverters and pipe overflow to garden contributes to increased cost.

Infiltration Galleries and Basins: Another way to harvest rainfall reasonably is to make a direct deposit of it from the roof into the soil. Infiltration Galleries are deep trenches filled with wood chips or rock that allow water to slowly percolate into the soil instead of running into drains, out to the street, and into the Monterey Bay or creeks.

Infiltration Basins are shallower 6 – 18” deep areas where water can collect. Both systems allow for “banking” of water on-site in excess of what normal rainfall provides and conserve water during the dry season. Roots of shrubs and trees find these basins and develop deeper rooting to withstand drought. These systems can cost a few hundred or several thousand dollars depending on the scope of the project. A complete soil analysis is recommended in the early planning stages. Note: both of the pictured basins were filled with wood chips from local tree companies.

For more detailed explanation and pictures tap the button below:

Download Basic Rainwater Catchment

 

 

Click the “Pay Now” button to sign up for a November 3, 2012 Rainwater Catchment Workshop.  Price:  $25




4 Comments

  1. Hi! Would you like to bid on a rainwater project? Best to you, Michele

  2. Thanks Michele for your inquiry. It would be great to meet you sometime and discuss all the options for rain and greywater harvesting, as well as, Water Neutral Gardens™. We can help you meet the water neutral development requirements on all your projects.

    Golden

  3. How do you keep mosquitoes from hatching in rainwater barrels?
    Can you mount rainbarrels on an outside wall? One wall is stucco, the other is wood-type siding.
    How do you know which downspout(s) you can use? There’s really only one place where a barrel will fit, but there are 2 or 3 downspouts from the roof.
    Thank you.

  4. Hi Lynn,
    All entry points are closed with filters and screens. Also, the pipe from the roof is dry and the mosquitos are looking for water.
    Yes, rain barrels can be installed along an outside wall and any type of siding works.
    There might be other places on the property where you can run a pipe along the ground and then up into the rain barrel. This type of system is called a “wet” rain water system and uses the principles of hydrostatic pressure. There will always be water in the pipe; just think of it as another storage location.
    We are having a workshop in Scotts Valley on September 17. Here is the link for registering: http://foodandwatersv.eventbrite.com
    For more information: 831-471-9100 or beth@wholenessworks.com
    We will be installing a large rain barrel system. It is a do it your self type of event.
    Thanks for your inquiry,
    Golden

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