Harvesting Rainwater As A Prepper

an image showing one of the systems used in harvesting rainwater as a prepper


Harvesting rainwater as a prepper is just one of the wonderful things you’ll be doing. Remember that as a prepper, the aim is to be prepared for whatever comes your way. So, whatever it is, we are here to see you meet emergencies with your shoulders puffed and head held high.

As a prepper, you have to value rainwater because we never know when there could be a water shortage. In these scenarios, you want to be sure you and your family have adequate water to survive. That’s what sets you apart as a prepper. You are prepared for almost everything.


Requirements For Harvesting Rainwater As A Prepper

A rainwater collection system is machinery put in place to harvest and save water when it rains. From drinking and laundry to sanitation and bills reduction, a rainwater collection system has several benefits. There are different methods to adopt to harvest rainwater. 

Some can be elaborate while others can be simple, but no matter the choice, an effective rainwater collection system must meet the three requirements below:


Catchment Area

The catchment area is the part of the house through which rainwater is caught or collected. For most people, this is the roof, and it’s easy to see why. The roof is the first part of the house rainwater makes contact with. The best roofing materials for this purpose are aluminum and uncoated stainless steel. This is because there is no form of contamination whatsoever. Other roof materials, for example, asphalt or with coated steel, may contaminate water. The slope and size of your roof determine the amount of water you’ll be collecting.


Storage Tank

I think this is pretty obvious. You can’t collect rainwater without storing for future use. Using rainwater without a storage tank can be impossible. A storage tank can be wooden, plastic, or metallic and as large as 100 gallons. To make things easier, you can customize your tank to whatever purpose you intend to use rainwater for. As an example, you can install a faucet with a detachable hose to your tank if you aim to water crops.


Means Of Distribution

This is merely a way of collecting water from your catchment area to the storage tank. That is, how you get water from the roof to wherever you want to use it. It could be to a tank, specific land, or cistern. 

Typically, gutters and downspouts are the first means of distribution as they directly catch the runoffs from your roof. You can tweak these to distribute rainwater to perhaps a storage system you’ve constructed or a tank below. Mind you; you should fix a screen to keep debris and dirt out.


Collection Systems For Harvesting Rainwater As A Prepper

For harvesting rainwater as a prepper, there are several systems, as we have mentioned already. These systems can be expansive, while some can be simple and quickly installed. As long as the three requirements above are fulfilled, you can design any. 

We’ll be looking at the cost common three of these systems. 


Rain Barrels

Rain barrels make up the commonest and simplest system of collecting rainwater. If you’re just starting, this is the first collection system to consider. It is simple and costs relatively less than other methods.

To install a rain barrel collection system, all you have to do is place barrels or tanks proportionally below gutters and downspouts. That way, collected runoffs will flow or be directly distributed to the system. You can install these tanks to be fixated on their spots or remove them after they are full. And, yes, you can have up to 5 barrels to collect rainwater.

You can buy standard barrels from stores for little or nothing. Some barrels cost more, though, but it’s entirely up to your pockets.


Pros of Rain Barrels


  • Easy and quick to install, and hence can be fixed by anyone.
  • Barely occupies space, and is therefore suitable for any home layout.
  • Barrels can be easily and cheaply acquired.

Cons of Rain Barrels


  • Often overflows, thereby wasting precious water and collection opportunities.
  • Typically, it can only contain between 50 – 100 gallons. 


Dry System

The dry system is typically a variation of the rain barrel system, although it allows a larger storage space. In a dry system, a pipe or hose is directly connected to the gutters and downspouts to distribute water directly to the storage tank. After raining, the pipe dries off as it stores no water at all, and perhaps that explains why it’s called the dry system.

The dry system involves a large tank. If big-sized tank beside your home does not bother you, then this is an excellent system. Like the rain barrels system, the dry system is also affordable and easy to install. You do not have to worry about energy or time or anything.


Pros of The Dry System

  • Less complicated system and hence easy to maintain.
  • Cheap to construct and install.
  • Saves a large amount of water.
  • Useful in regions with recurring heavy rainfalls and occasional storms.

Cons of The Dry System

  • A large tank sitting beside the house may not be attractive to some people.


Wet System

Unlike the rain barrel or dry systems, the wet system involves underground connections. In this system, you install collection pipes under the ground. The installed pipes are connected to two or more downspouts such that water is collected from various gutters surrounding your roof. 

Water collected is transported deep into the ground and fills the vertical piping before spilling into a storage tank. The connection between the underground pipes and downspouts must be watertight. 


Pros of The Wet System

  • Can harvest rainwater from the whole gutters.
  • Storage tanks can be placed anywhere.
  • Allows you to save more water than the other two methods.


Cons Of The Wet System

  • It can be more expensive and complicated to install. May takes more time.


Final Lines on Harvesting Rainwater As A Prepper

Despite its amazing benefits, harvesting rainwater as a prepper is an easy thing. When you conserve rainwater, you have the option to reduce water bills. Plants would benefit a lot, as well. We haven’t even mentioned more common uses, such as drinking, cooking, laundry, and sanitization. Get some barrels—it’s time for a bountiful harvest.