How to Reclaim Rainwater: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Reclaim Rainwater: A Step-By-Step Guide

Reclaiming rainwater is a great way to conserve water and save money, especially if you live in an area with limited water resources or frequent droughts. By capturing and storing rainwater, you can use it to irrigate your garden, water your lawn, and even wash your car.

In addition, using rainwater is better for your plants than using tap water, which often contains chemicals and minerals that can harm them.

The process of reclaiming rainwater is fairly simple and can be done with basic equipment that you can find at your local hardware store. First, you’ll need a container to collect the rainwater, such as a rain barrel or a cistern. Then, you’ll need to set up a system to divert the water from your roof gutters into the container.

You can also add a filter to remove debris and contaminants from the water before it enters the container.

Benefits of Reclaiming Rainwater

Reclaiming rainwater can provide numerous benefits for your garden and the environment. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Reduce Water Bills: By using rainwater instead of tap water, you can save money on your water bills. This is especially beneficial for those living in areas with high water rates.
  • Improve Plant Growth: Rainwater is naturally free of chemicals and minerals found in tap water, making it better for plant growth. It also has a slightly acidic pH, which some plants prefer.
  • Conserve Water: Reusing rainwater reduces your reliance on municipal water supplies, which can help conserve water during times of drought.
  • Reduce Runoff: Rainwater harvesting can help reduce stormwater runoff, which can carry pollutants into local waterways. By capturing rainwater, you can help protect the environment and improve water quality.
  • Reduce Erosion: By capturing rainwater, you can reduce erosion in your garden and surrounding areas. This can help preserve soil health and prevent sediment from entering nearby waterways.

Overall, reclaiming rainwater can provide numerous benefits for your garden and the environment. By using rainwater instead of tap water, you can save money, improve plant growth, conserve water, and reduce runoff and erosion.

Choosing a Rain Barrel

When it comes to choosing a rain barrel, there are a few things to consider. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Capacity: The size of the rain barrel you choose will depend on the size of your roof and the amount of rainfall you receive. A good rule of thumb is to choose a barrel that can hold at least 50 gallons of water.
  • Material: Rain barrels come in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and wood. Plastic barrels are lightweight and easy to move, while metal and wood barrels are more durable but may be heavier.
  • Screen: Look for a rain barrel that has a screen to keep debris, insects, and animals out of the water. This will help keep your water clean and prevent clogs.
  • Spigot: Make sure the rain barrel has a spigot near the bottom to make it easy to access the water for your garden.
  • Overflow: Choose a rain barrel that has an overflow valve or hose so that excess water can be directed away from your house and foundation.

Once you have chosen your rain barrel, it’s important to place it on a level surface near a downspout. Make sure the barrel is stable and secure, and consider using a stand to elevate it for easier access to the spigot.

The cost of making a Rain Barrel collection system

The cost to make a rain barrel for collecting rainwater can vary depending on the materials used and the size of the barrel. Here are some estimated costs:

  • A basic 55-gallon plastic drum can cost around $30-$50.
  • A spigot kit for the barrel can cost around $10-$20.
  • A downspout diverter kit to redirect water into the barrel can cost around $30-$50.
  • Tools such as a drill, saw, and silicone caulk may also be needed, which could add an additional cost.

Overall, the cost to make a rain barrel can range from around $70-$120. However, keep in mind that using a rain barrel can help conserve water and save money on your water bill in the long run.

Installation and Maintenance

Installing a rainwater harvesting system is a simple process that can be done by a homeowner. However, it is important to ensure that the system is installed correctly to avoid any issues in the future. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose a location for the rainwater tank. It should be close to the downspout of your roof gutter system.
  • Prepare the location by leveling the ground and creating a stable base for the tank.
  • Install the tank on the prepared base and connect it to the downspout using a diverter kit.
  • Install a filter to remove debris and prevent clogging of the system.
  • Connect the tank to the garden using a hose or irrigation system.

Maintaining a rainwater harvesting system is relatively easy and requires minimal effort. Here are some tips to keep your system in good condition:

  • Clean the filter regularly to prevent clogging.
  • Check the tank for leaks and damage periodically.
  • Keep the gutters clean to prevent debris from entering the system.
  • Flush the system periodically to remove any accumulated sediment.
  • During winter, drain the system to prevent freezing and damage to the tank.

Using Reclaimed Rainwater in Your Garden

Reclaimed rainwater is an excellent source of water for your garden. It is free of chemicals and minerals, making it ideal for plants. Using reclaimed rainwater can also help conserve water and reduce your water bill. Here are some tips on how to use reclaimed rainwater in your garden:

1. Collecting Rainwater

The first step in using reclaimed rainwater is to collect it. You can collect rainwater in a rain barrel or a cistern. A rain barrel is a container that collects rainwater from your roof through a downspout. A cistern is a larger container that can hold more water. You can use a pump to move water from the cistern to your garden.

2. Filtering Rainwater

Before using reclaimed rainwater in your garden, it is important to filter it. You can use a screen or a filter to remove debris and sediment from the water. This will prevent clogging in your watering can or irrigation system.

3. Watering Your Garden

There are several ways to water your garden with reclaimed rainwater. You can use a watering can, a hose, or an irrigation system. If you use an irrigation system, make sure to install a backflow preventer to prevent contamination of your drinking water.

4. Using Rainwater for Other Purposes

You can also use reclaimed rainwater for other purposes in your garden, such as washing your tools or filling up a pond. However, make sure to use a separate container for these purposes to avoid contamination.

By using reclaimed rainwater in your garden, you can save money and help conserve water. Just make sure to collect, filter, and use the water properly to ensure the health of your plants and the safety of your drinking water.


Reclaiming rainwater for your garden is a simple and effective way to conserve water and reduce your water bill. By using a rain barrel or other collection system, you can capture rainwater and use it to water your plants, flowers, and vegetables.

There are many benefits to using rainwater in your garden. Rainwater is free of chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water, which can be harmful to plants. It also contains natural minerals that are beneficial to plant growth.

When setting up a rainwater collection system, it’s important to choose a location that is convenient for you to access and that receives a good amount of rainfall. You’ll also need to consider the size of the system you need based on the size of your garden and the amount of rainfall in your area.

Overall, reclaiming rainwater for your garden is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly practice that can benefit both your plants and your wallet. By taking the time to set up a collection system and incorporating rainwater into your watering routine, you can enjoy a beautiful and thriving garden while reducing your water usage.

If you live in locations around the country that have already been impacted by changes in climates and less rainfall you already know the importance but others can also help to reduce water waste by following these step-by-step guidelines.

Products that will help you to collect rainwater

FCMP Outdoor RC4000 50-Gallon Heavy-Duty Outdoor Home Rain Catcher Barrel Water Container with Spigots and Mesh Screen, Brown

By following these guidelines on How to Reclaim Rainwater you too can save money and water to be used in your garden.

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