How to Harvest Rain Water

a rain barrel for every home

Waste, whenever it rains I see first hand evidence that our society; one- takes water for granted and two- still has a long way to go to understanding reuse and recycling.


We use water, still, as though it was in endless supply. A turn of the tap and there it flows. But this is a fallacy and water is much scarcer, potable drinking water than we think.


I was out for a walk the other morning, the day was going to be hot, I knew, as I could feel the ehat seeping up from the ground and the wind was warm. There were no clouds in the sky. This was the fourth day in a row of heat and no rain. Partially thankful but a bit concerned because I knew my vegetables needed water and I would have to do that later that night after the day cooled a bit.


As I neared home I saw a guy washing down his driveway, the hoes running and he was bathing the asphalt. I though we had gotten past this ridiculous pass time but reality check.


Whenever it rains, I watch the streams of water roll down the street and into the sewers; water that could be used to look after fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and more.  Sure the rain was giving them a drink now but what about two days from now?


It is time that we understood the catching the water that falls freely from the sky and rolls off of roofs all around town is an important, vital and relatively simple activity. Not only will we be able to save water for the dry times but we will divert it from the sewer system and basements, think of the possible savings.


The simplest way to catch rain water is to use a rain barrel that is incorporated into your eaves trough system. You can buy them or build them, how you go about that is up to you.


You can hook up the faucet to a soaker hose which can be run through your vegetable garden and used to deep water the tomatoes and so on when it is needed. You will not be using any water from the house so may even save a few bucks. How much you save will depend upon the size of your system.


The rain barrel is the entry level rain water harvesting system. There are larger systems that will collect and hold much more than water for the cabbages.

make your own rain barrel

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Comments 17 comments

myawn profile image

myawn 7 years ago from Florida

Very good hub. Nice points made to save our water with a rain barrel.who knows what the future will bring. Thanks!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thank you for dropping by.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

Very good suggestion. Good hub.

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Hey Bob, I love this idea and will set out a tub to catch our rain- wasted all that lovely water that fell thus far and drained into the ditch below, sigh.

I have a question: a neighbor laid pine cones down instead of stone a few years back and I thought it looked so pretty, I decided to do it around my young bristol cone. (Already you might be groaning.) It took me until this summer to figure out that acid from the pine cones might be why the poor little tree was struggling.

Bristol cone have a tough time after being transplanted, I am aware of this, but the time is a few years past that challenge. Do you think acid from the pine cones could kill an adolescent tree? I removed them all yesterday and replaced them with stone...

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks Smieles, Story, the short answer is yes, it is possible, however, without doing more research it could have been something else.

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

Bob, nice Hub. I actually saw a program, can't remember what station, on several rain systems people use for their homes, what a great idea.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by

Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Grew up with a rainbarrel and find it crazy that in some parts of the U.S. they are outlawed. Great hub!

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Bob once again a great hub. Water preservation is one of the most important issues that need to be brought out into the open much more.

My son-in-law brought me a container that resin is shipped in. (You know, those cube plastic containers housed in metal frames for shipping that holds 1000 liter/250 gallon) We were able to clean it out. I was able to connect the chicken house eaves to it. It gives me enough to water the chicken and ducks for almost two week. We had enough rain this summer to keep it filled at all times. I have two more already cleaned out that just need to be connected to the big barn eaves. That will give me enough water for both my veggie and flower garden. Not only are we not throwing that big container into the landfill we are reusing it to recycle...collecting the rainwater also saves me from using electricity to run the well pump.

Is it okay if I link your hub to my 'Green House Gases Emissions' hub which deals with the water situation?

Great hub

regards Zsuzsy

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Bob Ewing, great hub.

Jerilee's comment set me to wondering: why are rain barrels outlawed in some places? Is it because nature also recycles rainwater and if people store it, it doesn't go back into the environment?

Nolimits Nana 7 years ago

I live on BC's West Coast, and with our very hot dry summer this year, the rainwater collection from the winter has been a plant-saver. Many new houses now are building collection systems and cisterns into their footprint. We have a 15000 gal. cistern, and although we use a well for drinking water, that rain collection from the winter keeps my gardens green.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

First, thank you all for dropping by.

Now, Aya, while Nature does recyle rainwater, the runoff from driveways etc does not get recycled but ends up in sewage system. Also if we relied on rain water only to grow fruit and vegetables we may run into shortages and dry spells and have to use water from the system to feed the plants that feed us.

Yes ZB, please link, thanks.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Bob with regards to Jerilee...I remember reading somewhere that some communities are opposed to this idea as they're worried about the rain-barrels not being closed up properly and thus leaving open standing water and giving mosquitoes more of a chance... West-nile etc...

Thanks for allowing the link


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Good point still pools of water are good breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very good hub nice info thanks

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by.

reynantevargas 7 years ago

this is a very interesting topic.. please allow me to post my links to share my ideas regarding on how to harvest rain water and it's important

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