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JerNan Septic and Rainwater Solutions can perform the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems.

Texas Water Supply:
Between the influx of new residents to Texas, wasteful overuse of the fresh water supply and the current drought, our surface and groundwater supplies will not be able to meet future water demand. Conservation and development of alternative water supplies is necessary to meet our growing demand for fresh water.

Rainwater harvesting is an ancient, yet modernly innovative, alternative to municipal water supplies. Rainwater harvesting is the capture, diversion, and storage of rainwater for future use. Captured rainwater is often used in landscaping, because the water is free of salts and other harmful minerals and does not have to be treated, it is a better source of water for the landscape. 

The Implementation of  rainwater harvesting techniques is a benefit to our state by reducing demand on the water supply, reducing run-off, erosion, and contamination of surface water. Outdoor watering accounts for as much as 30 to 50 percent of the total water consumed in Texas. Capturing rainwater for use in the landscape makes efficient use of a valuable resource, reducing water bills and reducing demand on water supply.

The harvesting of rainwater is beneficial to preventing flooding and erosion. By slowing runoff and allowing it to soak into the ground in a localized area you create a water supply asset for your property, as well as reducing contamination of surface water with sediments, and chemicals that are carried in the run-off.

Rainwater harvesting, what is it?
Simply put, rainwater harvesting is the collection, diversion, and storage of rainwater.  This chain is typically composed of the roof of a structure, gutters and piping network, and a tank of some sort.  Rainwater systems can be extremely simple, or very complex.  A 55 gallon barrel placed under a downspout is a simple means of harvesting rainwater.  Beneficial yes, however you can harvest very little water with this set-up.  A 16,000 gallon tank serving as a storage vessel on a home, where the water is intended to be treated and used as a potable water supply, is a bit more complex. 

Rainwater harvesting has been around for ages.  The oldest known cisterns have been dated back 12000 years, and are found in the Middle East.  Grandma and Grandpa may have even had a cistern at the farm.  Rainwater harvesting is no longer a country persons product, the value is being recognized in the urban sprawl as well.  Community gardens, public pools, the local carwash, they can all benefit from the use of rainwater.

As we began to build infrastructure that would deliver water to our homes and businesses, the idea of capturing and storing water became obsolete.  As we have become more dependent upon water as a nation, and a world, it has become crucial once again to maximize the benefits of water that rains down on our homes and properties.   

With water use restrictions being implemented all over the state, the rise in costs for water services, and the increasing difficulty to obtain water, we believe that rainwater harvesting will grow to be a technology in high demand in the coming years.  By implementing rainwater harvesting and water conservation measures in general, you can take control of your water supply thus allowing you a bit of freedom with how and where your water gets used.

What are the benefits of rainwater?

  • Monetary savings is the first benefit to rainwater harvesting.  As water rates rise, the rainwater harvester is able to supplement their water consumption with collected rainfall.
  • It promotes self-sufficiency and helps conserve water.

What are the uses of collected rainwater?
You can essentially use rainwater anywhere you use tap water. The idea of using drinking water to flush our toilets and water our lawns is wasteful and irresponsible, especially in light of population growth and water shortages across the country. Rainwater collection is a technique to green your home and to lessen your environmental footprint.

There are basically three areas where rainwater can be used:

  • Irrigation use
  • Indoor, non-potable use
  • Whole house, potable use

Here are some ideas for sepcific uses of rainwater:

  • Hand water your lawn and garden
  • Connect rainwater collection system to irrigation/sprinkler system
  • Wash your vehicles
  • Wash your pets
  • Refill your fountains and fish ponds
  • Refill your swimming pool
  • Replace the use of tap water with rainwater to wash your driveways and sidewalks
  • Use it for all indoor non-potable fixtures (toilets and clothes washer)
  • Use it for all potable needs when properly filtered and disinfected
  • Use it for industrial processes instead of municipally treated water

How much rain can I collect?
1 inch of rainfall equates to 623 gallons per 1000 sq. ft. of collection area

Rain Barrels:
This method is the most common and one that many people are familiar with. This involves installing a barrel at a gutter downspout to collect rainwater. The actual barrel may be a recycled barrel or a new commercially available rain barrel.

Rainwater Harvesting - Rain BarrelPros:

  • Easily implemented by anyone at any residence
  • Barrels are readily available in your community or at various stores & websites
  • Barrels don't take up much space so they can fit into any situation


  • Capacity is generally only 50 to 100 gallons
  • Easily overflows and wastes collection opportunities

"Dry" System:
This method is a variation of a rain barrel set-up, but it involves a larger storage volume. Essentially, the collection pipe "drys" after each rain event since it empties directly into the top of the tank.

Rainwater Harvesting - Dry SystemPros:

  • Can store a large amount of rainwater
  • Great for climates where rainfall happens with infrequent, larger storm events
  • Can be inexpensive to implement
  • Less complicated system so maintenance is easier

The storage tank must be located next to your house

"Wet" System:
This method involves locating the collection pipes underground in order to connect multiple downspouts from different gutters. The rainwater will fill the underground piping and the water will rise in the vertical pipes until it spills into the tank. The downspouts and underground collection piping must have water-tight connections. The elevation of the tank inlet must be below the lowest gutter on the house.

Rainwater Harvesting - Wet SystemPros:

  • The ability to collect from your entire collection surface
  • The ability to collect from multiple gutters and downspouts
  • The tank can be located away from your house


  • More expensive to implement due to underground piping
  • Sufficient difference between gutters and tank inlet must be available