Practiced for thousands of years across almost all cultures, the process of capturing and reusing rainwater and greywater (from showers and sinks) for non-potable use is fast becoming an important cornerstone for new sustainable practices in the U.S.
Why is Capturing Rainwater Important?
As fresh, potable water becomes increasingly scarce in the U.S., the practice of using it to flush toilets and water landscaping seems almost ridiculous. New and ancient methods are now readily available for commercial and institutional buildings.
The benefits of harvesting go far beyond fulfilling the desire to be "green.” Capturing and utilizing rainwater and greywater can have lasting economic benefits for building owners.
Benefits of Rainwater Collections Systems:
- By reusing captured water to flush toilets, water landscaping or support other water-intensive operations, municipal water charges can be significantly reduced.
- Wastewater treatment fees and environmental impact fees can also be reduced.
- For building owners wishing to achieve LEED certification and receive praise in their communities, these efforts are a key component of broader sustainability practices.
- Simple passive systems like roof gardens can reduce heating and air conditioning expenses.
- Vegetated swales can replace unattractive parking lot water retention ponds with vibrant patches of plantings complete with birds, butterflies and colorful flowers.
This site can help you understand the different sources of harvestable water available to you, active and passive methods for capturing and processing the water, and different approaches for utilizing harvested waters. There is also information on evaluating the many options for selecting a system and many of the frequently asked questions about water harvesting.