Rain harvesting involves the collecting of rainwater in a rain barrel or cistern, usually from a roof of a house or building to supplement fresh water supply. A rain barrel or cistern is most effective when the stored water is used regularly as this allows for renewed harvesting of rainwater.
- Gutter slope should have a 0.5 to 2% incline throughout the gutter length to ensure runoff
- Captured rainwater can be used for non-potable water uses such as gardening, or in a building to flush toilets
- Cleaning of the rain barrel and cistern, as required
- Clearing downspout of leaf and debris to allow runoff, which will increase the amount and quality of the rainwater collected
- Draining rain barrel or cistern and adjusting conveyance drainage pipe to allow for alternative runoff during the winter months to prevent freezing of water buildup
- Average cost for a rain barrel is $100 and ranges depending on style and capacity. A 220-litre rain barrel holds the equivalent of approximately 9 minutes of watering with a garden hose
- Costs for a cistern vary widely depending on capacity but can range from $150 to $10,000
- Minimal maintenance cost if rain barrel and cistern are annually cleaned and emptied during the winter months
- Guidelines for Residential Rainwater Harvesting Systems Handbook: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- Rainwater Harvesting Fact Sheet: Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program
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