DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

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Harvesting rainwater is one of the most self-sufficient and environment friendly methods of using water. As much as 80 % of rainwater that falls onto your catchment area can be collected by applying simple methods. This DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting handbook walks you through an easy  process of building a small rain barrel system. If you want to start small and inexpensive, this might be a good option for you.

DIY Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting by Sumbal Tasawwar and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

To get a better estimate of how much water can be collected from a rooftop, please have a look at our second Rainwater Collection Calculator (Rainwater Collection from Rooftops).

Some additional tips about at home rainwater harvesting to remember:
    • Never drink untested and unfiltered water. The rainwater collected using this method can be used for purposes such as watering your garden.
    • Never place your barrel close to utility services or septic tanks.
    • Drain your barrel once in a while.
    • You can place some pea gravel around your barrel. This will be helpful in case of overflow.
    • Consider installing a gutter debris filter.
    • Clean the gutters thoroughly before installing the rainwater barrel.
    • Consider installing a first flush diverter to reduce contaminants.
    • You can expand your rainwater collecting capacity by connecting an additional barrel.
    • Set up a seasonal maintenance schedule.

We hope you find this handbook useful and hope to hear from you in case you try out this solution.