Make It Rain: Five Ways to Boost the Efficiency of Your Rain Water Harvesting Efforts

A rainwater tank is a great way to collect free water that falls from the sky and use it to offset your water consumption and your bill. However, there are even more ways to boost the efficiency of your water harvesting efforts. If you want to make the most out of your rainwater tank, check out these five tips:

1. Install mesh over your gutters.

Rainwater tanks typically collect the rain that falls onto your roof, but if your gutters are full of debris, the rainwater won't follow them to the tank. Instead, the water will slosh over the sides or get blocked along the way. Clean your gutters on a regular basis to avoid built-up debris, and consider installing mesh over them so no debris can get inside of them. That makes your collection efforts more efficient, but it also helps keep your water clean and useable.

2. Invest in multiple rainwater tanks.

Using just one rainwater tank means you are likely wasting three-quarters of the rain that falls onto your roof. Harvest as much rain as possible by putting one rainwater tank on each corner of your home. If you get a lot of rain during certain times of the year, consider boosting your efficiency even further by having a storage tank that can store extra water as your rainwater tanks refill.

3. Use a lid on your rainwater tanks.

To keep your water from evaporating from the tanks once you have collected it, make sure that your tanks have lids. If possible, install sun sails or other items that can shade your tanks from the heat to help offset the risk of evaporation as well.

4. Place mozzie nets over open sections.

If some of your tanks have to be open or if you have ventilation holes in your tank lids, cover those areas with mosquito nets. Mosquito nets deter these pests from laying eggs in your sitting water and rendering the water useless.

In addition to keeping insects out of your water, these nets also help to prevent mosquitoes from hatching and hanging out around your property.

5. Connect your indoor plumbing to your rainwater tank.

Many people use rainwater tanks for gardening or landscaping, but that is not the only possible use. To offset your family's indoor water use, have a plumber connect your rainwater tanks to your indoor plumbing.

You can safely use harvested rainwater for a variety of non-potable uses, including flushing toilets and washing clothing.