A staggering 33% of all water usage in American homes goes into our landscapes and gardens. With summer upon us, it’s important to find new ways to go green and conserve our water supply while keeping our home gardens in bloom and producing. One way to accomplish this is by utilizing rainwater! The incorporation of rainwater tanks in residential settings is growing in popularity around the world, particularly in countries where the usage of drinking water for irrigation purposes is restricted or heavily regulated. Here’s what you need to know about harvesting rainwater for your garden.
The Project: Rainwater Barrel
Found at many home improvement centers and farm supply outlets, rainwater barrels are available in several shapes, sizes and materials. For home applications, wooden, plastic and steel barrels are most often the best choice. Storing water collected and diverted from a home’s gutter and downspout system, the installation of this system is usually a weekend do-it-yourself project. You will need a diverter to direct water from your downspouts to your barrel and a simple filter – such as a screen – to keep out any debris.
How Much Rainwater Do You Need?
To determine how large your rainwater barrel needs to be, you’ll need a sense of how much water you’re currently using to irrigate your garden. Take your garden hose and time how long it takes to fill up a gallon jug at your usual watering pressure. This will allow you to calculate your gallon-per-minute flow rate (GPM). For example, if it takes 30 seconds to fill the jug, your GPM is 2; if it takes 3 minutes, your GPM is .33. Next, water your garden as normal and time how long it takes – multiply by your GPM value to determine how much water you use in an average irrigation session. This should give you a good idea of how large your rainwater reservoir should be. If you’re using around 5 gallons, for example, you’ll know that a 25-gallon rainwater barrel (when full) has enough for 5 days of irrigation.
Other Ways to Conserve
Harvesting rainwater is just one eco-friendly project you can undertake to conserve water. At Columbia Builders, we install water-saving features through-out our homes… from water-saving faucets, shower heads and commodes, to high-efficiency water heaters. You might consider installing these features in your home as well, or if you’re ready to build your dream home, contact us or visit our model home!
Design and Build Your Dream Home with Columbia Builders
Columbia Builders is the home builder of choice in Howard County, offering homes in Ellicott City, Elkridge, Laurel, Columbia, Marriottsville, Fulton, Clarksville, Dayton, and Brookeville. No matter what the size and scope of your project, we have the skills, experience, and resources needed to bring your vision to life. We offer a level of customization that is truly unmatched and are committed to using materials and craftsmen of the highest quality, so you can trust that your new home is built to last.
If you’re ready to invest in a home that is built with your needs in mind, trust in us. Give Columbia Builders a call today at 410-730-0215 or use our contact form here. You can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Houzz, and Youtube, and don’t forget to check back on our blog for more tips and information!