Rainwater collection is a great way to gather water for a SHTF situation, or long term grid down event where water will be off. The average person wastes around 30 gallons of water per day! Just imagine having to collect that much water from a nearby river, or lake, it would take quite a while.
Rainwater collection has been done for hundreds of years. The growing need for rainwater collection systems only confirms our need to recycle and reuse our depleting source. Collecting rainwater in a grid down event is a great way to gather fresh water, without even leaving your house. Collect enough water during the rainy months, and you will have enough to last you the year!
So, now you are wondering how to make a DIY rainwater collection system. Lets get into it!
DIY Rainwater Harvesting System
There are a few materials you are going to need to collect before you start to build your DIY rainwater harvesting system, and depending on if you want to drink the water or just use it for watering plants, you will need specific containers to store the water in (food grade barrels).
The materials you will need to build your own rainwater collection system are listed below.
- Paint strainer
- 5 Gallon bucket
- 55 gallon drums, with lids (Food grade if you plan on drinking the water)
- Downspout fittings
- Gutter strainer
- 3/4″ spigot with 1/4″ turn ball valve
- Black Marker
- Drill with 7/8″ spade bit
- Half-round Bastard File
- 1 1/4″ screws
Using the 7/8″ spade drill bit, drill a hole in the side of the 5 gallon bucket.
Next, using the jigsaw, cut around the bucket, using the hole you drilled as the starter hole.
Now, using the permanent marker, trace the shape of the 5 gallon bucket onto the lid of your 55 gallon drum.
Just like you did with the 5 gallon bucket, drill a hole in the top of the 55 gallon drum with the 7/8″ spade bit to get you started with the jigsaw. Following the guideline you traced out, cut out the circle with the jigsaw.
Now, drill a hole at the bottom of the 55 gallon drum, about 2-3 inches from the base, using the 7/8″ spade bit.
Then file down the sides of the hole until there are no rough bits left. Do this using the half round bastard file.
Now, screw in the 3/4″ spigot until it is secure. It may need to be filed a little more if the hole is too tight.
Now, place the drum on your blocks, or stand next to your down pipe from the roof you intend to collect the water from.
Using the existing downspout from your guttering, add an extension to run down into the rainwater collection drum.
Measure, and mark where you will need to make a cut so that the end of your downspout will run into the top of your collection barrel.
Next, cut the extension with your knife, and fit it to the existing downspout.
Secure the downspout to the wall of your house using a bracket.
Now, trace out the shape of the end of the downspout, on the lid of the 5 gallon bucket. The purpose of this bucket is to collect debris that may come down your downspout.
Using the 7/8″ spade bit, again, drill out some starter holes.
Cut out the traced shape now.
Now, put the lid back in place, and ensure your downspout fits neatly.
Still water can be a great place for mosquitoes to breed, so in order to keep them out of your water supply, place the paint strainer over the top of the bucket, and tie a knot in it, as shown below.
Now, make a guttering strainer and place it in the opening of the downspout, on the roof. This will keep moss, leaves and other items from falling into the downspout.
And that’s it, your rainwater harvesting system is up and running, and ready to start collecting rainwater.
Watch the video tutorial below