How to install your own water harvesting system

Use this article to help you install your own water harvesting system. Which roofing materials work best, how to store your tank and issues with guttering.

install water harvesting system

Typically a water harvesting system can be installed by a builder and the internal pipework would be carried out by a plumber. However conserving water has become a priority in many countries and there are now many online sources that provide the consumer with the knowledge of how to install a water harvesting system.

Most do not consider the opportunities that can be made possible with rainwater harvesting. Once collected the rainwater can be stored and then used for either watering the garden, flushing toilets or washing clothes.

A catchment system that is capable of collecting 40-100 gallons of water can be installed. Because this water is untreated it is not be suitable for drinking or bathing. However, if you are hoping to use rainwater for drinking, a more complex system will need to be installed.

Tips for installing your own water harvesting system:

Roofing Materials:

Most roofing materials will be acceptable if the water collected is to be used for outdoor purposes.   These materials include:

  • Slate
  • Copper
  • Concrete
  • Terra-cotta

It should be noted that there can be toxins in the water from the asphalt and therefore it should not be used for watering garden vegetables.

Storage Tank/Rain Barrel:

The most suitable storage tanks are designed to withstand very cold temperatures and will not become misshaped with the weight of the water. The tank for your water harvesting system should be opaque as this prevents the growth of algae.

It should also be securely covered so that small children or wildlife do not have access to the rainwater. You should place the tank in a safe area but would also need to be accessible for maintenance should it require any.

The storage tank will need to be raised several inches off the ground and this can be done using cinder blocks, cement or a solid 4” block of rot resistant wood. The blocking should be level and protrude 1” all around. This will ensure that when the barrel is full there will be sufficient stability.


Guttering and the Downpipe:

In some cases it may be necessary for some adjustments to be carried out concerning the guttering or the downpipe. There are some water harvesting systems that are self -cleaning and these are more costly than the systems that would require cleaning.

The gutters should be checked regularly to inspect any blockages, as occasionally leaves and debris can become trapped. In order to receive the cleanest possible water, the gutters should be sloped to ensure continuous water flow.

Gutters with riveted seams are suitable older gutters are not as appropriate as they would require more maintenance.

Image Sourced: Engineering Natures Way

post your comment




One of the most effective ways to encourage wildlife into your garden is by introducing a pond. This guide will show you how to build a pond which your local wildlife will thank you for!

how to build a pond

Here's just a few useful and fun ways you can use the shells of pistachios and other nuts instead of throwing them away

pistachio shells

Find out how to keep your sugar intake low and avoid health problems such as joint inflammation and heart disease


Patagonia's unique approach to revealing information on their manufacturing process is something all aspiring green businesses could take a tip from.