Gutter to Garden in 4 Easy Steps

| 2/10/2016 9:55:00 AM

Tags: rain barrels, rainwater harvesting, Ann nguyen, The Ecology Center, Southern California,

Rain barrel

Before we had concrete, storm drains, and rain gutters, our diverse habitat naturally carried and captured rainwater via streams and rivers and filtered the water in wetlands. In contrast, in today's urban developments, rainwater flows down driveways and streets, contributing to flooding, erosion, and landslides. Runoffs also collect pollutants from our cars and fertilizers as it travels to the ocean and pollute the environment. 

Fortunately, there are a variety of simple and easy ways that we can re-design our spaces to follow nature's model! 

Calculate Your Rainwater Harvesting Potential

Harvesting the rain with a barrel is a simple way to recycle water. Before you get started collecting rainwater, calculate your catchment to determine just how much water your property can collect and how much.

By harvesting the rain, we can collect every drop and grow healthy gardens instead of letting it run-off to pollute our watersheds and ocean. Here in Southern California, we get about 15 inches of rain/year. It might not be much, but it adds up quickly. In fact, the average Southern California rooftop could collect almost 1,000 gallons of water with just 1" of rainfall!

Follow the instructions below to calculate your catchment so you'd know the rain barrel size you'd need to obtain or build!

3/31/2016 9:02:33 PM

Simple method to gang barrels together is to use pvc piping and valves inserted into one of the bungs with a single outlet. no holes to drill and the barrel stays in tack. for more info email me.

3/30/2016 11:36:09 AM

Is this safe for organic gardens if you have the type of roofing that most of us have, which could leach chemicals into the water?

3/17/2016 12:44:41 AM

I collect water from approximately 1/4 of our roof and channel it into 4 used 300 galloon food grade tanks. Where I live these are available for around 60-70 dollars. They have 2" outlets with a valve so you can use from any tank you wish while isolating the others. I have plumbed the four tanks together to simplify their filling and use when needed for the garden.

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