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What Type of Rain Harvester Are You?

According to Paul Lawrence, president of the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association and owner of Texas Land & Water Designs in Round Rock, Texas, believes that residential rain harvesting customers typically fit into one of three categories.

The Hobbyist

This homeowner wants to collect and store between 50 and 250 gallons of rainwater to be used on flower beds, vegetable gardens, potted plants and nearby ornamental beds.

The DIYer

This homeowner wants to collect and store between 300 and 5,000 gallons in either single or multiple tanks. Their needs may similar to those of the Hobbyist, but they are often open to other uses for rainwater, such as foundation moisture control or a small patch of lawn. These larger systems will usually include some kind of pump and a distribution network. Drip applications are more common than conventional spray systems and may involve a professional rainwater and/or irrigation consultant to provide basic system design functions.


This rain harvester generally starts with a tank at the 5,000 gallon mark and may reach up to 30,000 plus gallons on larger structures in this category. These projects are generally designed and installed by individuals with experience in rainwater harvesting. These systems are most often installed to provide the homeowner with an independent supply of potable water that will be used for all residential purposes, including indoors. If there is excess available, the homeowner may choose to satisfy some of the outdoor uses mentioned above. These systems will collect almost all of the runoff from the roof into one large storage tank or a cluster of smaller tanks; pressurize the water supply, usually with a centrifugal pump which drives the water through a series of filters and disinfection treatment as required to provide safe drinking water to the home. Most individuals who eventually commit to one of the larger systems generally started with a single rain barrel positioned under a single downspout.

Which rain harvester are you?