With sustainability becoming more emphasised each passing year – rainwater harvesting is starting to become a common practice. Ask any South Yarra plumber – rainwater harvesting is the way of the future. It saves water that would otherwise be wasted, and it also indirectly cuts your water bill costs. In today’s blog, we’re going to explain a few different ways you can harvest rainwater – as well as share some other important information on the subject.

Getting started

Before we dive into the various methods that you can utilise – there are a few components that you should look at when getting started with rainwater harvesting. The two big ones are pumping and filtration systems. These are essential if you’re going to be using rainwater in your home. A first flush component should also be looked at as it essentially flushes the first lot of rain you’ve captured.

The reason for this is that the surface you’re catching water on may be contaminated with bird droppings and other contaminants – so the first wave of rain basically cleans your surface and then gets flushed to make way for the next batch of rain which will be stored. This is especially useful when using rainwater in your home. If you’re just using the harvested water in the garden, then filters and first flush components are less crucial.


Barrel method

The simplest method you can use to harvest rainwater involves a barrel that the water will fall into. Simply place the barrel under your gutter’s downspout and let it collect the rain coming down from your roof – as well as the rain falling directly into it. These barrels will have spigots below where you can draw the water from. There are a few things to note with a barrel method, however.

Lids should be placed on the barrels to ensure that mosquitos don’t get inside and lay eggs as it could contaminate the water. The biggest downside to a barrel harvesting method is its limited storage capacity. Because of this, it can overflow – which is something every South Yarra plumber knows you won’t want to deal with.


Dry method

Essentially an expansion on the barrel method – the dry system uses a larger container to give you a higher capacity and mitigate the chance of an overflow occurring. The reason it’s named the dry method is that the pipe that transports the water into the container dries up after it rains – since all the water is emptied into the tank. This method – along with the barrel method – are best suited to areas that aren’t prone to constant rainfall events.


Wet method

The wet method is the opposite of the dry method in a couple of ways. For starters, it’s much more favoured in areas where the rainfall is frequent. Secondly, the pipes that deliver the rainwater into your container are constantly wet – as opposed to dry pipes used in the above method. This is because water is constantly stored in the pipes, which run underground and deposit the water into your storage tank.

Because there is constantly water in the pipes – you’re going to want to ensure that the pipes are watertight to prevent any leakage. Since the pipes run underground, it means that you’re able to position your rainwater tank anywhere on your property – unlike a dry or barrel method tank. However, this also means there is a lot more work that goes into setting up such a system.


Green roof method

This method is a bit different from the others and is essentially solely for using the rainwater for your garden. By laying down liner on your roof, the water will simply flow off of it and into your garden. There is no storage involved in this method (though if you wish, you can set up a barrel system as well for any excess runoff water). The roof lining also adds an extra layer of insulation to your house.


Looking for a plumber in South Yarra?

Rainwater harvesting is economical, eco-friendly and smart – so why wait? If you’re thinking of implementing a harvesting system in South Yarra, then JPG Plumbing is here for you. Our expert plumbers know their way around any plumbing system and can help you set up your rainwater harvesting system for home or garden use. We operate within the South Yarra area as well as Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs.

If you’d like to know more about how our South Yarra plumbers can help you, then give us a call on 0400 978 442. Alternatively, you may contact us via the enquiry form on our website.