Choosing a Rain Water Collection System

Many of our customers harvest rain water to store it for later use, and then use our PTLevel devices to monitor their Rain Water Collection Systems. The PTLevel and Rain Water Harvesting make a great pair! However, choosing the right rain water collection system can be tricky.

The Basics:

Rain Water Harvesting
Rain Water Collection
Rain Water Catchment
Roof Water Collection
and Rooftop Water Collection – they all mean the same thing. It’s the idea of collecting rain water run-off from a structure and then storing it for later use.

Recently, rain water harvesting has had some controversy in some areas of the world. In fact, in some cities it is downright illegal. In many other areas of the world there are strict rules about collection. Make sure to research the rules and regulations for your area before choosing a rain water collection system. But if Rain Water Collection is right for you, keep reading! And if you think the PTLevel is right for you and your water monitoring needs, find our more here.

Benefits of Rain Water Harvesting

-rain is free

-rain water is generally clean (purification is needed before drinking it)

-use your harvested rain water anytime (still follow your city rules on water restrictions, if any)

-rainwater is actually better for your plants and landscape because it does not have chlorine or other chemicals in it

-collecting rain water can help improve your water run-off and storm-water runoff problems

-rain water collection systems are easy to maintain

-typically rain water harvesting systems can be easily retrofitted to existing homes and structures with no significant investments needed

-stored rain water can be a back-up source of water for emergencies

-rain water harvesting can reduce the need for imported water from other communities

-you’ve probably heard of food-miles, well rain water collection reduces your water-miles. (reduced water trucking or even water piped to your residence)

-using rain water to replace your municipal water usage can reduce your water bill and save you money

-and more

Different Rain Water Collection Methods

Rain Barrels

By far the most common method, the general idea is that you install a rain barrel at a downspout to collect rain. This is an incredibly easy way to test to see if rain water harvesting is right for you. Rain barrels can be an up-cycled barrel you already have laying around or a readily-available barrel purchased from your local hardware store. Barrels are typically small and don’t take up a large footprint. However, rain barrel systems are small and usually max out at 50-100 gallons as well as can easily overflow causing runoff issues.

“Dry” System

Called a dry system because the downspout will “dry” between collections when the water empties into the larger tank, it is similar to a rain collection system, just bigger. This system is ideal if you need more than 50-100 gallons of water storage, or if you live in weather areas when rain is infrequent but comes in with large weather events that bring in a lot of water at once. This is again a low-cost and low-maintenance system. Locate the large water storage tank close to the structure where water is collected (such as your house).

“Wet” System

This is a more complex and costly system; however, if setup properly, can offer an increased water storage capacity as well as storage away from buildings. With this type of system you can also collect rain water from multiple gutters. To set up this system, start by choosing a location for your water storage tank away from your house, but ensuring it is located in an area that your gutters are higher than the tank inlet. Next you can plan, design, and then build your underground pipe system (all of your pipes and valves must be water-tight). Make sure to consult a professional to design this system efficiently and safely.


Our PTLevel Wireless or Wired can be used with any of these systems! The PTLevel can accurately monitor your Rain Water Collection Systems with how much water you have stored, as well as track water history for up to 2 years with the premium features. The PTLevel Wireless can easily be installed for tanks away from the house but within WIFI range. A more economical option is The PTLevel Wired which can be installed up to 328 feet from your router but requires running an ethernet cable.

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about installing a PTLevel and monitoring your Rain Water Collection Systems – contact us today

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