Rainwater Collection: Is it Legal in Texas?
Rainwater Collection (How to Harvest the Texas Rain)
Hot Texas summers lead to water restrictions across Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth. It isn't uncommon to see a rate increase on your water bill, too. Save money, keep your outdoor landscaping alive, and minimize water usage with rainwater collection.
What Is Rainwater Collection?
Rainwater collection (or rain harvesting) is a means of collecting rain in a container so you can repurpose it for things like watering plants or washing the car.
Texas homeowners don't need to install a well or large-scale water tank. Rainwater collection is inexpensive and attractive when you use a rain barrel or small water tank. Combine a rain barrel with a rain chain for an elegant look that helps reduce clogs and makes a musical sound during a rainfall.
Is Rainwater Collection and Harvesting Legal in Texas?
In Texas, rain harvesting is not only legal but also encouraged. The State government offers a sales tax exemption on purchases of rainwater harvesting equipment; upon presentation of the sales docket.
Many homeowners aren't aware of their city or county's by-laws regarding rainwater collection. Similarly, many homeowners may think their homeowners' association can prevent them from installing rain harvesting equipment on their property.
As a matter of fact, an HOA, city, or county cannot prevent you from performing rainwater harvesting on your property. However, there may be strict guidelines on the type or size of the water collection equipment. We strongly recommend that you check with your municipality or homeowners' association before installing any rain harvesting equipment.
- In Austin, the Texas Water Development Board estimates that for every inch of rain that falls on a 2,000-square-foot roof, about 1,000 gallons of water can be collected. Austin receives an average of 32 inches of rain per year, resulting in roughly 32,000 gallons of water available for harvesting.
- The San Antonio Water System offers a Water Saver Rewards Program. You can earn coupons to receive a discount on rain barrels.
Rainwater Harvesting Benefits for You and Your Family:
- Using collected rainwater during peak periods, such as summer, saves your water for more essential uses.
- Collecting rainwater is an excellent method for training your family in the benefits of water conservation. It can also teach you how much water your household is using, encouraging you to save more.
- Rainwater that you collect is an excellent back-up source in the event of a storm or other disruptive climate event.
- Collecting rainwater can also reduce or eliminate yard drainage problems.
Benefits to Your Municipality:
- Using your collected water reduces the volume of water needed by your municipality. This leaves that water available for municipal needs, such as parks and gardens.
- Reducing the amount of water that your municipality sends to your home reduces the need to treat and pump water, saving energy.
- Collecting rainwater reduces the amount of storm water entering the public drains. This can help prevent creek or waterway overflowing and reduce the amount of metals and chemicals that enter our waterways.
How to Collect Rainwater
Small Rain Barrels
The most common and well-known method of collecting rainwater is the rain barrel. These are available in a range of sizes and materials. Its primary use is in the collection of water for lawn care or watering plants. By design, they do not replace a household's entire principal water supply.
For installation, position rainwater barrels under the bottom of downspouts. The water from your gutter travels through the downspout and fills the rain barrel. Many homeowners place a plant into the barrel, so it receives the runoff while the barrel is collecting water. They equip rain barrels with a faucet for attaching a garden hose. Rain barrels use up little space. They usually have a capacity of 50-100 gallons. For smaller yards, this type of rain barrel is ideal.
Large Capacity Rain Harvesting
For a larger property, a 'dry' rain barrel system may be more practical. This is a variation on the rain barrel that attaches directly to a collection pipe from the downspout. After a rain, the pipe dries out (hence the name.). The pipe connects to the top of the barrel which has a larger storage capacity than a standard rain barrel, but it needs to be positioned next to the house because of the need to connect it directly to the downspout.
Rain chains are a stylish method for transporting water to your rain barrel or other collection point. They work as an alternative to downspouts. Be aware, though, that we highly recommend you do not replace all your downspouts with rain chains because of Texas's heavy annual rainfall.
Manufactures construct rain chains from hammered metal into bowls with a small hole in the bottom to allow rainwater to pass from one bowl to another, finally collecting in your rain barrel. They come in multiple designs, often resemble flowers, bells, or cups and look stunning when it is raining, and add a focal point to the outside of your home.
Rain chains reduce clogging because debris such as leaves and dirt no longer passes through your downspout.
Which Type of Rainwater Collection System Is Right for My Home?
There are a lot of factors to consider before answering this question. Your roof's pitch coupled with the size of your property and any sloping land all need to be considered first.
Gutter Tex is the expert in every aspect of gutter installation, repairs, and cleaning. We can arrange a free consultation with you to discuss the best option to help you enjoy the benefits of rainwater harvesting. Once you have decided on an option, we can install the rainwater collection system you purchased during your seamless gutter repair or installation.
Contact Us to arrange your free, no-obligation consultation today.BOOK MY FREE ESTIMATE