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Capture, contain and reuse nature’s most powerful resource: water
What is rainwater harvesting?
To put it simply, rainwater harvesting is a system where rainwater is captured, contained and then reused in a purposeful manner. Most often the harvested water is used for landscaping purposes such as watering flower beds and plantings, but other uses include using the water for washing cars and pets. Harvested rainwater can also be used for more advanced purposes such as flushing toilets and laundering clothes, however most areas are waiting for water authorities to catch up with the available technology.
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Black and Veatch Rain Garden in Overland Park, Kansas
How Rainwater Harvesting Works
During the rainwater harvesting process, water is taken from run-off or a down-spout on a roof and transported into a basin. The basin then recycles the water using a pump. The pump in the retention basin sends the water through a biological filter that removes dirt and particles. The pump also keeps the water oxygenated to avoid stagnation.
There are many benefits to rainwater harvesting. Not only is rainwater harvesting an excellent way to conserve water, users can see huge savings in their water bill. Some homes use as much as 60% of their water outside the home on gardens and lawns. With the use of rainwater harvesting, homeowners can save up to hundreds of thousands of gallons per year in water usage.
With all these advantages, you may wonder why more homeowners haven’t implemented rain water harvesting. The main reason is that the low cost of water in the Missouri area makes it harder to justify the cost-benefit ratio for most families. However, for environmentally conscious people, it is one of the easiest things that can be done to improve the environment.
The cost of installing a rainwater harvesting system depends on the size of the retention basin and the number of collection points. Those items are usually determined based on the size of a homeowners yard and the intended usage of the harvested water. Watering a lawn requires so much water that it is much more costly to build a basin large enough to hold the amount of water that would be needed.
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At KC Landscapes, our rainwater harvesting systems are always built custom onsite. We do not use a cistern under the ground due to the fact that cisterns have to retain a certain amount of water to avoid being pushed out of the earth by ground-water. Our below-ground containment systems can be placed virtually anywhere and are easily hidden under a patio, grass or even a driveway, out of sight and mind.