There are a more than a few things we have to get used to when we first move to the Valley, and although the heat is definitely number one on the list, the aridity runs a close second. Every day is a repeat of the day before, and as the sun shines over the valley, those clouds we see off in the distance may raise our hopes only to dash them once again as they dissipate, revealing blue skies again! As such, we have learned to plant drought resistant plants and do our best not to waste the desert’s most precious resource, but every once in a while, the skies do open up and flood our dry and arid land with cool, life-sustaining rain!
On those occasions when flash flood warnings scroll along the bottom of our television screens, you may have wondered idly if there was a way to save up that water and use it at a later date. Because we at New Image Landscape and Pools have wondered that as well, we did a little research and found out that, yes, it is 100% possible! This guide to making use of our Arizona monsoon season rainwater has been created to share the information with our favorite people of all, our clients and customers who have made the desert their home.
You may be wondering if it is even worth it to try to harvest rainwater, and so may be surprised to learn that just from one inch of rainfall, nearly 600 gallons of water can be captured from your roof alone, more if you have a roof that is larger than 1000 square feet! So yes, it is definitely worth it, and with proper precautions, you can lower your water bill as you do more than your part of saving the environment. This water can be used for watering your lawn and garden, as drinking water for your animals, or even drinking it yourself; there are filtering systems designed to rid the water of impurities or anything that might cause illness, but to be honest, we would probably just use rainwater for our lawns and gardens!
Now for the Details
There are a variety of ways to capture rainwater, with the most basic setup involving gutters, barrels, and pea gravel in case of overflow. You want the excess to be able to drain off easily and not cause any damage to your foundation, so do not skip the gravel or you could regret it later. Interestingly, most Arizona homes do not come with gutters, so if you are doing this, you will need to invest in an entirely new gutter system, one that includes filters for debris. Place the barrel under the downspout, being sure that your downspout does not end up on the side of your house near the electric box, or if your yard has a septic system, keep away from that spot as well. Overflow ports and first-flush diverters will be needed, and the barrels should be maintained every few months; also, it may seem like a waste of water, but your barrels must be drained every 3 to 5 years. Go ahead and drain it into your yard, perhaps at the beginning of watering season so nothing goes to waste!
Get Creative This Arizona Monsoon Season
You can purchase any size barrel; 55-gallon drums are most common, or you can build one yourself using a large plastic waste can with a lid and screen material for the filter. The barrels designed for capturing rainwater are made from PVC and have a spigot for easy watering, though, and because they are not too expensive, this may be what you want to use. True water containment systems are made from a variety of materials and come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to purchase the one that works best for you! Colors can vary as well, from clear plastic to black, red, or green; one online retailer even makes a gorgeous copper one that has a 5-liter capacity and adds to the beauty of your landscape. The Rain Wizard Rock is designed to look like a piece of granite, something that looks amazing in a desert landscape, and comes in dark, light, sandstone, and red brick designs. A terra cotta version holding up to 65 gallons and resembling a large vase can be ordered from your local Target, and we even noticed a rain catcher created from plastic tarps and poles that simply sits out in the open; the water drains into plastic containers not unlike those you would use for drinking water.
Sounds a Bit Complicated?
Give us a call today and let us work together to create an environment that is friendly, welcoming, and kind to the desert!