The 4 Best Ways to Collect and Recycle Rainwater

Rain water pouring from a gutter

Rainwater recycling is a great way to use a natural resource to keep your lawn and garden areas looking healthy without adding to your utility bill. Rainwater recycling technology has moved far beyond the old rain barrels of the past. It's time to upgrade to a much newer and more effective method of catching moisture. Use the best methods to catch rainwater, and make the most out of natural weather to lower your water bill and do your part to stay green.

Legal note: Check your local laws, since rainwater collection can be regulated or banned in some cities.

Better Ways to Catch Rainwater

Installing a gutter on a house

It's possible to catch rainwater in a barrel, the same way it's possible to use a couple of tin cans and a string to talk to a friend. But there are much more effective methods for capturing moisture when it rains and use the water for gardening and general lawn health.

  • Redirect downspouts. You don't even need to collect rainwater to use it throughout your outdoor areas. Redirect your downspouts, and you can skip the collection step altogether. Instead of letting the water run off into the driveway or the sidewalk, change the course of the water so that it will land in your garden and landscaping areas. This is a very effective and easy way to make use of natural rainwater. Once your downspouts are redirected, the work is done and you can start enjoying the benefits right away.
  • French drains. Want to carry rainwater from a downspout all the way over to a garden area that's separate from the house? Dig a shallow trench that leads from the area under the downspout to your garden. Fill the trench with gravel to keep the water from sinking into the soil before it reaches the desired area. If you like, you can bury a perforated drain in the trench as well. French drains are a tried-and-true method of directing rainwater, and they work well in just about any terrain.
  • Make mulch beds. Catching rainwater to keep garden and landscape areas green doesn't have to be a difficult process. In fact, you don’t even need special tools or much time at all to make mulch beds. With this method, you’ll make small depressions directly into your mulch at one-foot intervals to catch a little bit of rainwater every single time it rains. The water will drain slowly back into the soil to add extra moisture precisely where you need it.
  • Bury a cistern. One of the most practical options for collecting and storing water is to bury a cistern on your property. These large tanks are most commonly made from plastic or wood, and they can be put just about anywhere. The hole for the cistern needs to lined with a waterproof membrane and structural supports. Have a professional company bury your cistern, and you can store many gallons of rainwater here. Cisterns come in a huge variety of sizes and offer storage capacity ranging anywhere from 10 gallons to 100,000 gallons. You can bury them just about anywhere on your property, and store rainwater conveniently underground.

Catching Rainwater

A raised vegetable garden and watering can

Rain may come and go quickly, saturating the ground for just a brief amount of time in small doses. Natural rainfall may still leave some parts of your property dry, and it might soak into the ground quickly and disappear before it’s gone. It's important to collect rainwater more efficiently, and start using it to keep your lawn, garden, and landscaped areas looking amazing even in times of drought.

Once you make the initial investment for collecting rainwater, you can maintain any one of these methods with very little time and maintenance. After that, the water will help you maintain great-looking outdoor spaces for no cost. Some systems are very easy to implement, and all of them are highly beneficial. Try one or more of these methods for collecting rainwater yourself, and see what a huge difference a little extra water can make in all your outdoor spaces.