How to harvest your rainwater?

Leaf guard on the Greenwood forest park Great Hall
Leaf guard on a slate roof

Harvesting rainwater is relatively easy, all you have to do is catch the water running off from your roof, flowing along your gutters and down your down pipe. into your drains.

You should check your gutters to ensure that you are collecting all the rain falling on your roof.   Make sure that there are no sags or dips, there are no leaks and the gutters are clean. If your gutters leak during heavy rainfall then they need attention.

Most rainwater harvesting systems use a diverter on the down pipe to remove leaves and dirt and take the water to a water butt or tank. Diverters can be home made or bought commercially [1],[2].

Leaf  guards can be fitted to prevent leaves clogging the gutters.

 

Martin's homemade diverter
A home made diverter

Once you have diverted your rainwater you then have to store it. You can use water butts from the garden center, recycled storage containers, proprietary plastic tanks, ponds,  constructed tanks made from building blocks or formed from reinforced concrete. Tanks can be located above or below ground.

 


Top tank at the Greenwood forest Park
The upper 5m3 tank at the
Greenwood Forest Park
A good design should rely on gravity to convey the water from your roof to your water tank and if your lucky from your tank to the point that you want  to use the water, however a pump may be needed to lift the water from the storage tank to the point of use.