California; Rainwater Harvesting, Sonoma County, Sierra Club
Rain barrel installation tipsOnline Resources What you’ll need: Rain barrel; 2 spigots that will fit into 2 threaded holeshttp://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/utilities/conserve (1 at the top and 1 at the bottom); aluminum downspouts; hose with male/female and shutoff fittings; RAINWATERhttp://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/utilities/conserve/Page a hacksaw, pencil, and possibly hammer/nails, pliers,s/ResidentialFAQs.aspx plumber’s tape. There are various optional devices suchhttp://cityofpetaluma.net/wrcd/waterconservation.html as: flexible downspouts and landscape pipes, leaf filters, downspout diverters, etc. HARVESTINGhttp://www.rainbarrelguide.com/ Installation:http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/ Prepare ground where the barrel will sit keeping in mindhttp://groups.ucanr.org/sonomamg that even small barrels weigh hundreds of pounds when full. The ground should be flat and level and somehttp://www.coolcities.us/ recommend using concrete blocks to place the barrel onhttp://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/suppliers and although not necessary, it may be easier to access.html the spigot at the bottom (you may also turn the spigothttp://www.oaecwater.org/education/roofwate so that it’s parallel to the ground.)r-harvestinghttp://www.aprainwaterharvesting.com/index. Estimate where the downspout will need to be cut –htm check where the top of the rain barrel will sit and leavehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGFDlkJOd room for the elbow. (The downspout will need to beaM secured a few inches above the cut; do now or after Sierra Club you’ve cut the downspout.) Cut the downspout with aOther ways to save water Sonoma Group hacksaw. Attach the downspout so that it fits into theRun full loads of dishes and clothes, use low (707) 544-7651 elbow.flow toilets, disconnect your downspout and http://www.redwood.sierraclub.divert the rain to your garden (at least 10 ft Attach the hose to the bottom spigot and leave the spigot org/sonomafrom your house), create basins and berms, open; you will regulate the water from the end of theinspect for plumbing leaks, sweep instead of hose. The top spigot is the overflow valve and some folksspray, eat vegetables instead of meat attach a hose so that any excess water is directed to an(especially beef or pork), use SMART drip area that can tolerate more water. Make sure the valveirrigation, irrigate early or late in the day, turn is open at all times. Take care not to strip the threads onoff water while soaping up and brushing teeth, the barrel. Slide the barrel under the new downspout.capture cold shower water and use forirrigation, wrap garden containers withinsulating blankets, plant shade trees,install permeable pavers,apply thick mulch, plantlow water vegetation,dry farm.July 2009 Photo credit: Winooski NRCD
What is rainwater harvesting? Rainwater harvesting captures precipitation and Benefits of rainwater harvesting are many. It can multi-barrel system connected together near uses it as close as possible to where it falls. be used to grow food and may be stored for future the bottom with pvc pipes or hose, a cistern, Rain may be directed so that it infiltrates the use when it’s most needed; it can decrease utility or a system that pumps water to the ground (instead of running off) or it may be bills, reduce groundwater demands, improve soil landscape. Costs range from a few dollars to a collected from an impervious structure and fertility, increase local water resources… And, it’s few thousand dollars. Rainwater catchment stored for later use. free! Water conservation measures are being systems must be placed on flat, immobile Catchment implemented by every surfaces (concrete blocks or sand are often devices may municipality in the county, used) and below the gutter height to allow include rain so why not do what you can gravity to move the flow of water. barrels, cisterns and benefit from your own or storage tanks. Safeguards must be in place for small children efforts at the same time? and animals; therefore, all systems should be Getting started covered. Covers and filters also keep leaves and other debris and mosquitoes from entering Why consider collecting rainwater? You may want to begin by estimating your home’s the system. Also, the type of gutter system is water needs; both household and landscape. important as it may have lead soldering or More than two-thirds of the earth’s surface is Review your past and current water bills noticing lead-based paints. covered by water, but only 3% of this fresh how much water was used in the winter vs summer water supply is considered suitable for drinking months. Typically, household use doesn’t fluctuate Policies and other information and agriculture. And, much of this freshwater is much. You may then compare your usage to the The operation and maintenance of rainwater locked up in frozen glaciers or it is located too volume of rain falling on your house. harvesting systems is the responsibility of the deep within the earth to be accessible. Our Calculating rainwater for 29 inches of rain property owner. Most cities require building supply is renewed mainly through precipitation. For every square foot of roof, you will collect 0.6 gallons for every inch of rainfall; and plumbing permits along with backflow A significant amount of rainwater runs off our prevention devices. Municipal inspections roofs and onto the streets and run-off may also Size of roof eg 60 ft x 100 ft = 1600 sq ft; typically occur during installation and flood ditches and rivers. However, reasonably Average rainfall eg Santa Rosa 29 inches; inspections of backflow prevention systems on pure rainwater can be collected from roofs. an annual basis. Ensure all applicable policies Total gallons from a 1,600 sq ft roof in Santa and codes are being followed and permits are Captured rainwater for land irrigation is an ideal Rosa: 1600 x 0.6 gals x 29 inches = 27,840 gallons* in order. Other requirements may be use particularly in Sonoma County where very necessary and many government bodies are little to no rain falls over a period of 6 months *5-20% of runoff can be lost due to evaporation, only now drafting guidelines. or more each year. Santa Rosa’s average wind, overflow of gutters annual rainfall is 29 inches. Rainwater can help Most cities have water and energy to improve the health of your gardens, lawns, Determine the size of the catchment system conservation rebate programs and some and trees because it is considered soft due to and its placement include a rainwater harvesting rebate. They the lack of minerals and is unlike our surface Many types of systems exist and you’ll want to also supply free water conservation devices and ground water that takes up these consider their size, composition and components, such as low flow showerheads. Contact your compounds as it runs through the soil. as well as cost. You may choose a simple rain city’s water conservation or utility department barrel made from a recycled food barrel, a for more information.