Collecting storing rainwater is one task you need to know if you’re a gardener looking to provide their plants with excellent water quality. Not only does rainwater contain no harmful chemicals, but it’s what will help you to easily conserve water and also save money as a sustainale project.Collecting and Storing Rainwater There are multiple ways you can collect and store rainwater; however, you need to make sure that the option that you pick is one that aligns with your state’s laws. With that said, let’s consider the different rooftop rainwater harvesting methods available so you can decide on the ideal one for you.

What Is the Ideal Way to Collect and Store Rain Water?

The ideal way to collect and store rainwater is to install a barrel. You can also try using a tarp to have rainwater. In addition to this, another option is for you to use your normal household items, and you will be gathering and storing the rain.

– Installing a Rain Barrel

The most effective way to collect and store rainwater is by using a barrel. To collect rainwater and utilize rain barrels, so remember that rainwater harvesting is not legal in some states, so you want to check whether or not your state has some rain water collection laws.Installing Rain Barrel

You can contact your local government or search online to see whether rainwater harvesting aligns with local regulations. Once you’ve ascertained that it’s alright to use rain barrels and gather rainwater, ensure the rainwater harvesting project by getting a large plastic garbage can, drill a hole close to the bottom and ensure the hole is about five inches from the bottom.

Since the hole will be used to house your spigot, make it the same size or a tad smaller than your spigot, which is the hole that will be used to remove water from the barrel. Therefore, make the hole high enough so that you can place your water can or bucket under it to collect water. For this, note that the barrels and storage tanks are also available online; you can purchase one if you can’t make one.

Insert a metal washer on the screw side of the spigot, then attach a rubber washer to keep water from leaking out. Add some waterproof sealant to the rubber washer, fix the spigot to the hole you drilled earlier, and leave the sealant to dry. Once the sealant is dried, add another metal and rubber washer to secure the spigot inside the barrel.

Now, for this, you may use watertight Teflon tape instead of a waterproof sealant for the inside of the barrel, but note that the barrel is next to the wall of your house, and make sure it’s under your downspout so you must mark the spot where the downspout is centered on.

If your downspout is on the side of your house, it’s recommended that you don’t place it directly at the center of the barrel’s lid. Using a box cutter, make a big hole on the spot you’ve marked on the barrel’s lid.

Now, remember that the hole should be big enough to collect water from your downspout, which is the matter’s key characteristic. This is why you should drill one or two small overflow holes to help release the collected rainwater if there’s an overflow or when the barrel collects too much water. Otherwise, you can use a PVC pipe or hose to connect a second barrel to the main barrel to collect the extra water.

Once you’ve dealt with the overflowing holes, cut a large piece of landscape fabric, about one foot, and fix it over the can, and for this, the fabric will help you keep out pests and insects that might be attracted to the rainwater. Place the lid over the fabric and secure it in place.

Move the barrel to where your downspout is located, and you can start collecting water. For convenience, you can use a durable material, such as bricks and metal to create a platform where you can place the barrel.

– Utilizing a Tarp

Rainwater harvesting through the use of a tarp is another good option you can try. First, determine where you want to use as the site for harvesting rainwater by considering the flatness and elevation of the storage area. This place must be a little slope towards the corner that’s closest to where you want to use it as your storage area.

The downward sloppiness ensures that the water won’t stay still as it’s collected but will run down to the lower corner, then to the piping that’s attached to the storage area. You can ensure that the area is sloppy by using a string and some stakes to determine the elevation.

Once you’ve ensured the area’s elevation, measure the tarp you’d like to use, so clear out a large chunk of the ground with a slightly higher elevation per the measured tarp’s size. So, you should build up extra dirt along the sides as you remove the brush, plants, and stones on the cleared ground.

The stacked-up dirt will help create a border that will help you hold the collected water. Once the area has been cleared, now you can lay your tarp on the cleared ground so that the edges of the tarp lay over the stacked-up dirt, otherwise known as bermed edges. Then attach some rocks to the tarp to make sure this way it stays in place in windy situations.

You can also pile up huge amounts of dirt on the edges to restrain them and stop them from flapping, so cut a hole in the lowest corner of the tarp. Be detailed in this step, because the hole is substantial enough to accommodate a pipe, and then attach it to the hole and use a waterproof sealant to seal it.

Now is the time that you can run the pipe to your collection tank, ensuring that it follows the slope, so you can get the right amount of pressure to pump the water on its own. Your collection tank can be a normal rain barrel or a tote tank, or you can use a trash can to make your own barrel. If you can’t afford a tank, you can dig a five to six feet hole in the ground, cover it with the trap, collect the rainwater in the hole via the tarp, and extract it using a container.

– Using Normal Household Items

This option is the cheapest and easiest rainwater harvesting method. However, it could be more efficient, especially if you have a large garden or farm. It is a good idea and a keen approach if you don’t have large water needs or if you’re in an emergency.Using Household Items to Collect Rainwater

You can use your household items to harvest rainwater; finding a spot on your roof that allows the rain to pour down with good pressure is the first step. Then, place your bucket, watering can, or any other container under the downpour.

You must now collect and store the water; for this, keep in mind that stagnant water can lure in mosquitoes, and if you keep rainwater for long periods, it’ll start smelling. This is why you must take measures and try to avoid this because you will be collecting the water around your landscape, and you wouldn’t want the place to be filled with pests. Try to use the water so that it wouldn’t be sitting still in the long run.


Whether you’re thinking about building a rainwater collection system for drinking or how to collect rainwater for plants, below is a summary of quick points on how to collect rain water at home for your plants:

  • Verify that rainwater harvesting is legal in your state before building any type of system.
  • You can build a rain barrel using a trash can, as described above.
  • Make sure that the land you choose for the tarp option is well-elevated and the pressure in the pipe is high.
  • Storing rainwater for extended periods can cause it to start smelling.
  • Try to cover your rainwater harvesting system or make it as active as possible because stagnant water tends to attract pests and mosquitoes.

If you cannot utilize any of the options above, consider calling professional services to help you set up residential rainwater collection systems. Also, if you intend to use the water for cooking, bathing, or anything other than gardening and farming, make sure to filter or boil it before use. You can also use hard water for your plants but you should take some steps before using it!

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