☀ You can borrow and read The Water-Wise Home free below. ☀
Some day you may kick yourself for having let all that rain run off your roof and into the ground or street, instead of capturing and saving it for a non-rainy day. When droughts and fires and wars make water a sought-after commodity, you might wish you had your own personal supply.
create a rain garden or roof catchment
The Water-Wise Home by Laura Allen* shows you how to create sustainable water systems for your home — how to plan and install systems to harvest rainwater, including a rain garden and a roofwater catchment using barrels and cisterns. It also shows you how to develop systems to reuse greywater, which is water that has been used in sinks, showers, and washing machines. The book also has smart, useful information about composting toilets, and ways to use water more efficiently so as not to waste it.
Wouldn’t it be more fun outside digging swales instead of inside doing the same old stuff? And you can thank yourself later.
Moving Water to the Rain Garden: The next piece of the rain garden system is the means of conveyance from the water source — the roof, overflow of a rainwater tank, or surface runoff from a driveway or street — to the rain garden basin. There are two main options: a buried pipe and a diversion swale. A third (and simpler) method is to rely on natural ground contours that slope toward the rain garden, allowing water to flow across land (or lawn) to reach the basin.
If you’d like to see rainwater flowing to the rain garden, install a diversion swale — a shallow trench lined with gravel and rock — sloping to the rain garden. Note that some water will drain into the soil in a diversion swale so less rainwater reaches the rain garden. If you’d prefer to keep the conveyance system out of sight, bury a large, rigid pipe (ABS or Schedule 40 PVC) sloping downward to the rain garden. Both systems require a gentle slope of at least 2 percent. Rigid pipes can slope as steeply as needed, but swales shouldn’t slope more than 8 percent to prevent problems with erosion.
You can see from the Table of Contents that author Allen clearly and in an organized way takes you through each strategy for conserving and capturing water.
This is a beautifully illustrated book, and it doesn’t turn out well when converted to an epub file. You’ll want to read it with a decent-size screen, either online using the Internet Archive’s built-in BookReader, or by downloading a pdf.
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