Collecting rainwater is a method that many people all around the world use. They use this water to drink, bathe, water plants, and irrigate crops.
In a typical household, people gather rainwater through the gutters that are installed around their houses. But how to collect rainwater without gutters?
When you’re trying to collect rain without the aid of gutters, you can use your roof, or you can make water harvesting methods using tarps, barrels, pond liners, and your landscape.
Do you care to learn how? Then follow through and keep reading.
While it seems like common sense for many, collecting rainwater is a puzzle for some people. After all, why should you collect water from rain if you have taps and faucets readily available in your home?
To begin with, collecting water from natural resources, such as rain, is an important part of many people’s water-regulatory efforts. It’s an excellent way to conserve our water resources by lowering water demand.
As you may have already known, safe and clean drinking water is a limited commodity. Only around 0.5 percent of Earth’s water is freshwater.
With that in mind, using rainwater for some of your needs, instead of the scarce clean water resource that we have, would definitely help sustain one of our most limited commodities.
Aside from conservation, collecting rainwater will lower your overall water consumption.
In the US, the average household uses up to 25 percent of its water just to flush toilets and approximately 30 percent for outdoor use. Thus, a household that uses rainwater as an alternative will cut off about 40 to 50 percent of its water bill.
With that in mind, it would be beneficial to your household, as well as your community, if you start the habit of gathering rainwater for home use.
Given the context we provided earlier, we’re sure that you’re now raring to know how to harvest rainwater for home use.
Without further delay, let’s look at the best ways to collect water from the rain without using gutters.
A catchment system is a rainwater harvesting method that uses your roof as a primary channel.
You know that part of your roof where water gathers and pours when it rains? Or that section on your roof where two opposing and slanted planes connect and form a shallow depression line?
That’s your catchment area.
You can use those parts of your roof to act as a gutter and gather rainwater. Just place a container of water underneath those spots and wait for rain.
Or, more practically, you can place a pipe directly at the catchment spot and lead it straight to your container. This way, you can collect more water as it prevents splashes and spills.
Diverters are metal strips you can install on the side of or underneath your roof to lead the water sideways. Its purpose is to prevent water from pouring onto the front side of your house.
If you have one of those, then you’ve got yourself a simple method to collect rain.
A diverter somewhat like a gutter. They both redirect water from point A to point B. That said, you can use it to harvest rain by simply putting containers at the spot where your diverter dumps water.
However, the idea of putting a water container beneath your diverter every time it rains may sound like a hassle routine for you.
If this is the case, you can connect a PVC pipe directly to your diverter to funnel the water to any reservoirs around your home.
3 – Setting up Tarps
If you don’t have a catchment section or a diverter installed on your roof, you can try a more creative approach and use tarps.
Synthetic fabric, rubber, and plastic are the most common materials that make up your tarpaulins. These materials can resist water easily; hence, you can use them for this rain-collection technique.
All you need to do is to set up your tarps beneath the sides of your roof to divert the water. It kinda looks like a roof extension that leads rain straight into your desired spot.
The secret is setting up your tarpaulins so that the water converges at a single point. Once that’s done, place water containers at the end of your tarps and you’re ready to go!
Of course, not everyone has an accessible roof to use for harvesting rain. If you’re among those people, then you don’t have to worry because we’ve got you covered.
Have a look at the ways to collect rainwater without the aid of roofs:
An umbrella water catcher, also known as the “saucer” rain collector, is basically a funnel-like contraption with a hole or a tube in its center.
You can buy this type of rain harvesting device online, or you can make one yourself.
If you opt to create your own, there are a variety of materials that you can choose from. For your funnel, you can use tarps, plastic, pond liners, canvas, and even old umbrellas!
The only thing to be wary of when using an umbrella water catcher is the wind. If you don’t properly anchor your apparatus, the strong wind that usually comes with rain will knock it over!
As the name suggests, it’s a rain harvester that usually looks like a butterfly. It has two converging “flaps” or “wings” that form a valley-like surface for water to flow on.
When the raindrops fall, they hit the flaps, then flow downward and gather in the converging canal. You then collect the rainwater by setting up your repository directly under that point.
To make this contraption, any water-resistant material that you can fold in half for its canal will do. You can use tarps, pond liners, plastic sheets, and even hard materials like wood or steel.
If you want a more permanent way to store rainwater, you can try making a DIY rain barrel. We have to warn you, however, that this water-collecting method requires a bit of effort.
For this method, you need to bury your barrel vertically while leaving its lid open. You then make a path for the water to flow inside when it’s raining.
The low elevation of the barrel will make it easier for you to divert the rain into the repository.
To make your water path, you can use plastic pipes cut lengthwise or polyester sheets. Simply lean your pipes or polyester sheet downward around your barrel and let gravity do the rest!
The purpose of a rain pond is to store water in large volumes, usually for in-land fish ponds or to irrigate crops. Some farmers also use this method to provide drinking water for their animals.
Whichever the case, it’s an effective way to collect and store rainwater that can last for many years.
To make your own rain pond, you need an unobstructed ground space. If you have a big enough front or back yard, then that should give you what you need.
Aside from ground space, you need a pond liner for this method as well. Lay out your pond liner inside the pond to keep the water from seeping into the earth.
The length, depth, and width of your pond will all be up to you. You need to remember, however, that the wider and deeper your pond, the more rainwater you can collect and store.
If all the options above aren’t possible for you, you can actually use the landscape around your house as your rain-collecting contraption.
Look for sloping terrain near your house. Hills and mountainsides frequently have sloping surfaces.
For this technique, you can either use polyester sheets like pond liners or tarps.
Dig a straight “canal” from top to bottom on a sloping ground surface. This will be your catchment area, where water will collect and flow downward.
Then, from end to end, drape your tarps or pond liners over that low-elevation line. This prevents rain from seeping into the soil before reaching your repository.
The greater the width of the canal and its sheet, the greater the volume of liquid that it can assemble and deliver down.
At the top of the slope, you can also add a pond or basin. This will increase the surface area of your contraption and will provide more rainwater for you.
A rainwater harvesting system is a wise investment for any homeowner.
Using rainwater for your home helps to conserve our water resources. Above all, it significantly reduces your spending on water distribution companies.
That said, learning how to collect rainwater without gutters requires some effort. You can use your roof, tarps, barrels, ponds, or your home’s landscape.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.