Water conservation is a hot topic in Texas after the recent droughts, and rainwater harvesting is growing in popularity as a result. There are many benefits from embarking on this path, and these do not stop at simply saving money on your water bill! Did you know it’s possible to acquire an exemption from property tax on certain properties where a harvesting initiative has been established?
Is your home suitable for harvesting rainwater?
Rainwater harvesting systems are typically installed on the rooves of buildings. The system collects rain as it runs down the sides of your house and into the drain. Even if you have a flat roof, it may still be feasible to install such a system. The only requirement is that your roof is available for use and that it has a drain capable of channeling rainwater.
What are the installation costs?
For the average family home, a complete system tends to cost in the region of $8,000 to $10,000; however, this will vary slightly depending on the size of the tank used and the construction materials. For example, a welded steel tank can cost as much as $4 per gallon capacity, while a fiberglass tank is approximately an eighth of the price.
Harvest high-quality water.
One oft-cited reason for rainwater harvesting is that it is superior in quality compared to treated water. This is because it tends to be softer water, with slight acidity, and largely free from man-made contaminants, such as disinfectant byproducts. This makes it extremely useful for a wide range of household uses, landscape irrigation, and even as drinking water.
There is limited legislation.
There are no existing standards at either the state or federal level with regards to systems for harvesting rainwater. However, if you plan to use the rainwater you collect as drinking water, and connect the system to a public supply, the installation will need to be carried out by someone with a master or journeyman plumber’s license from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, as well as their endorsement as a specialist in water supply protection. If you only plan to use the water for non-potable applications, then these restrictions do not apply.
You have an environmental responsibility.
Finally, the most obvious benefit of harvesting rainwater is that it is a powerful conservation tool. No water is more local than that which falls directly on your home, and harvesting it reduces your consumption of typical supplies. These supplies often draw from natural resources, such as lakes, and involve extensive power consumption and chemical processing in order to comply with national standards.
Learn about rainwater harvesting in Plano!
As part of a Sustainability Series, the city of Plano is holding an event for people who want to learn more about rainwater harvesting and how it can help them get through the hot Texas summer months. Attendees to this free event will learn about different ways to harvest rainwater (in addition to barrels) and “the secret benefits beyond saving water.”
Date: February 11, 2016
Time: 7 PM – 8 PM
Location: Davis Library on Independence Parkway, Plano
Residents of Texas are all too familiar with the potential for long, dry periods of too little rainfall. There is no question of the value of conserving water wherever and whenever possible, even when it rains! If you are considering adapting your home for the use of harvested rainwater, attend Plano’s Rainwater Harvesting event, and speak to your plumber about how best to connect a rainwater harvesting system to your existing supply.
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