Making the Most of Rainwater: Residential Applications

rainwaterDepending on where you live, the chances are your home features a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year. Since there are many areas where rainwater can be used in lieu of the tap, wouldn’t it be great to harness this resource for yourself? Fortunately, harnessing rainwater is an increasingly popular trend, as it utilizes a free, renewable material right on your doorstep!

There are many benefits to harvesting rainwater, including:

  • A greener, eco-friendly lifestyle
  • Cheaper bills thanks to reduced water reliance
  • Peace of mind through knowing what’s in your water

Many of these benefits apply to typical homes and, even if you live in an apartment, there’s still always something that can be done. As long as you have a roof, garden or balcony to collect water, you have access to a fantastic, natural resource.

In The Garden

The most obvious use for rainwater is to water plants – after all, that’s what they use normally – but there’s no need to stop there. Did you know you can also use rainwater in the creation of mulch and compost? The best way to apply mulch (such as dry leaves and organic matter) is to apply water first, then the mulch, before adding another layer of water. This traps the water in with the top soil, keeping it hydrated throughout dry periods. Save rainwater during the rainy spells and you won’t need to worry about your plants so much!

You can also create a tiny rain garden outside. If you live in an apartment, there’s nothing stopping you from doing a little gardening either. Many plants fair much better with rain water, as it’s free of some elements or properties (depending on where you live) you may find in your taps. Combine the rainwater with natural sunlight for the true garden experience.

Water Features

Similarly, you don’t need clean water for most of your garden features. Between the pump and the water bill, fountains and ponds can often be quite expensive, so cut out one of the biggest expenses by just rainwater. For static water features such as ponds, you only need a certain amount anyway (and nature will always provide a refill every now and then). For fountains, simply connect your rainwater collection system to your fountain and avoid adding to your water bill altogether.

Household Uses

Aside from drinking and washing, how clean does your water need to be? There are a variety of instances where rainwater is more than good enough. For example, why not try using this resource to clean your car? You would be surprised how much water it takes to wash even the smallest vehicle, so being able to reduce the water bills once more is always welcome! Additionally, try it on the windows the next time you’re doing some spring cleaning. As long as the water is clear, it should work wonders on glass.

Going Organic

organic gardenAdditionally, have you ever wanted to take your greener living to include your food? For many people, an organic garden is a worthwhile investment and, alongside other aspects, having clean water is an important part of this. Tap water often has preservatives and other agents in it, whereas rainwater is exactly what plants love. Of course, you can combine this with the mulching and compost mentioned earlier to truly develop a resourceful, green garden.

Improve Your Property Value

As we’ve just mentioned, living with nature, rather than against it, is becoming more and more popular, especially with new home buyers. For many, moving into an already established greener lifestyle can readily add value to the property in question. If you’re willing to invest in some rainwater harvesting bins or barrels, you can make your home more desirable. Not only will new buyers dream about the bill savings, you’ll be making a cut in your own bills too. This investment also adds even more value on to your home for the right buyers.

These are just some of the ways you can harness the power of rain water. Whether it’s improving your lifestyle or just cutting down the bills, it doesn’t make sense to ignore such obvious benefits. Furthermore, you’ll be helping the environment out too!

About the Author

Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4pumps and for several years, he has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. He also has a passion for writing and he writes the blog at 4pumps.