Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rainwater Harvesting in San Diego


The Urban Garden V3: Rainwater Harvesting


“Is the heat on?”, It seems Summer final came to San Diego with all this heat we’ve had over the past few weeks.  It’s times like this we realize that water is a precious commodity here in Southern California.  And even though it seems that we had a lot of rain this past Winter, the reality is that we did not. San Diego hit it’s Normal Rain Fall number.  San Diego is going to continue to grow as new housing tracks are developed and built, which means the county will never be out of a drought and must continue water conservation measures and laws.  With this “Normal” rain fall amount here is San Diego this past Winter, not even 1% of this free water was collected. As a property owner you may ask “How do I harvest this precious, life giving water and use it to hydrate our gardens and landscapes?

Glad you asked. By adding gutters to your roof line and tying them into collection tanks, one inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof can harvest 600 gallons of rain.  By collecting rain water from your roof, not only will you treat your garden, plants, and lawn to clean free rainwater you will help save energy by reducing demand on our drinking water supply!  Three 600 gallon tanks Over the past few years these “Rain Barrel” collection tanks have evolved into complete landscape watering systems.  Many companies have designs now that are sleek and trim fitting along the narrow side of a house.  These tanks come in a variety of popular house colors allowing them to blend into your house exterior and disappear.  Other options include bladder reservoirs  that lay flat in the crawl space under your house.


Once these tanks and bladders are full and our rainy season has past, these systems use a pump to create pressure and push water to your landscape plants and garden. It is important to use a drip line system to water all your plants and even your lawn since  this will slow down your water use rate from the tank.  I will talk more about converting your sprinkler system into a drip system in a future article. 


Some of the other benefits of Rain Water Collection Systems is that they reduce water pollution as a result of rainwater runoff which carries pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, oil, and trash into local rivers and lakes. They also help in the reduction of of soil erosion and improve the ability of water to infiltrate the soil at a reduced intensity. 

For more information go to www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/rainwater.shtml or use your browser to search for “rain water collection tanks”

The Urban Garden will bring you the newest technologies to green, urban gardening and landscaping.  It is my hope through this series of articles, you will be inspired to look to new directions in sustainable gardening and landscaping practices.  The face of San Diego is changing as water diminishes and urban spall continues to grow. Be inspired and make a change

1 comment:

  1. Your blog definitely got some nice information about the whole concept of rainwater harvesting and provide some details that are not available anywhere else. I am also considering the idea of rainwater harvesting and storing water in rainwater tanks. So that I don’t need to think twice before giving wash to my car during water shortage.

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