WHAT IS IT? I am investigating a new (old) trend that involves catching rainwater where it falls - this is known as rainwater harvesting. In many arid and semi-arid cultures of the past, people did just that. These wise people built elaborate underground tanks that not only cooled their rooms above, but provided water. I understand that this was also typical practice in some parts of the US till about the early 1900s.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? Rainwater thus harvested can be used for irrigation, laundry, toilets, sinks, showers and drinking. Depending on the precautions taken by the household, untreated water can be piped directly from the tanks for irrigation, doing laundry and flushing toilets, unless you have a pet that loves the toilet bowl. If so, then it is generally recommended that the water should be treated. This applies to all potable uses of the water.
COSTS? Before you determine the end use for your system, consider the potential costs: storage, spigot, plumbing, pumps, filters, UV treatment etc. Using untreated water is much less expensive than treating the water. Costs for treating the water varies from low-grade treatment for laundry and showers, and high-grade treatment for potable use of the water. Next Pros and Cons of Rainwater Harvesting