Using Rain Catchment Water on Your Homestead

If your homestead is off-grid, then water catchment is essential.  But even if you are connected to the grid, why pay for a resource that you can get for free?  No matter where your homestead is, water catchment is not an option that you should dismiss without consideration.


Why use Water Catchment?

If your homestead is off-grid then you will either have to haul water, or run a generator to power a pump to get your water.  Both of these options require you to have a steady supply of fuel for either your vehicle, or your generator, and that they are running when you need them to.  Mechanical failure or bad weather can easily have you without water if you don’t have another source.

For those with a suburban homestead water catchment can still help.  Rainwater is what your garden is expecting in the first place.  It doesn’t contain chlorine or other chemicals found in municipal water.  And though it doesn’t have the mineral content that ground water has it can be used to provide drinking water for your animals, or in an emergency even for you.  Best of all it will cut down on your dependency on outside resources and your water bill.

How to Catch Water

To catch water that is suitable for your garden, bathing, washing clothes, or giving to your animals, you will need a clean surface on which to catch the water, and large enough container to collect the water in.  Painted metal is one of the best surfaces.  If you have an asphalt shingled roof, this won’t work, the water will be contaminated with chemicals.  However; you can use an asphalt roof if you have sealed it with several coats of roof sealant.  If your home’s roof won’t work, consider using a tool shed.  You won’t get the same amount of water, because your surface area is lower, but it will still work.

Install gutters and down spouts on whatever structure’s roof you will use to catch the rain.  You will want to down spouts to end about 4 feet from the ground so that you can place a container under them.  Use any clean container like a new trashcan, or 55-gallon plastic drum.  Cut some black landscaping cloth so that it is large enough to cover the top of the container and overlap the sides by several inches.  Then using a bungee cord secure the landscape cloth over the top of the container.  This will allow the water to flow in, but will not allow debris or bugs like mosquitos to get into your supply.


As with anything these days there are ridiculous laws restricting one’s rights to catch rainwater for their own use.  So be discreet with your catchment system and know your local laws.  But don’t let this free resource go untapped, start you utilizing rainwater on your homestead.

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