What is Rainwater Storage?

Rainwater storage refers to the collection and storage of rainwater for later use. It is a sustainable and eco-friendly method of water management that has gained popularity in recent years. Rainwater can be collected from rooftops, paved surfaces, and other areas, and stored in tanks or underground reservoirs. This stored rainwater can then be used for various purposes, such as irrigation, toilet flushing, laundry, and even drinking water.

The Benefits of Rainwater Storage

Rainwater storage offers several benefits, both for individuals and for the environment. Firstly, it helps to reduce the demand for mains water, which is especially important in areas with water scarcity or high water costs. By using rainwater for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation or toilet flushing, households can significantly reduce their reliance on mains water.

Secondly, rainwater storage helps to alleviate pressure on stormwater systems. During heavy rainfall, stormwater systems can become overwhelmed, leading to flooding and pollution of waterways. By collecting and storing rainwater, less water enters the stormwater system, reducing the risk of flooding and pollution.

Furthermore, rainwater is naturally soft and free from chemicals such as chlorine, making it ideal for certain uses. For example, rainwater is often preferred for watering plants, as it does not contain the chemicals found in tap water that can be harmful to plant growth. Additionally, rainwater can be used for washing clothes, as it can help to preserve the lifespan of garments by avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals.

How Does Rainwater Storage Work?

Rainwater storage systems typically consist of a collection system, storage tanks, and a distribution system. The collection system includes gutters and downspouts that capture rainwater from rooftops and direct it into storage tanks. The storage tanks can be above ground or underground, depending on the available space and preferences of the user.

Once the rainwater is collected and stored, it can be distributed for various uses. This is typically done through a separate plumbing system that is connected to the rainwater storage tanks. The distribution system may include filters and pumps to ensure the water is clean and pressurized for use.

Types of Rainwater Storage Systems

There are several types of rainwater storage systems available, ranging from simple to more complex setups. The most common types include:

1. Rain barrels: These are small, above-ground containers that collect rainwater from rooftops. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners.

2. Cisterns: Cisterns are larger, underground or above-ground tanks that can store a significant amount of rainwater. They are often used for larger-scale applications, such as irrigation systems for gardens or farms.

3. Rainwater harvesting systems: These systems are more comprehensive and can include multiple storage tanks, filtration systems, and pumps. They are typically used for commercial or industrial purposes, where a larger volume of rainwater is required.

Considerations for Rainwater Storage

Before implementing a rainwater storage system, there are several factors to consider:

1. Rainfall patterns: The amount of rainwater that can be collected will depend on the local climate and rainfall patterns. Areas with higher rainfall will generally have a greater potential for rainwater collection.

2. Roof material: The material of the roof can affect the quality of the collected rainwater. Some roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, may leach chemicals into the water, while others, such as metal or tile, may be more suitable for rainwater collection.

3. Water quality: It is important to regularly test the quality of the collected rainwater, especially if it is intended for potable uses. Proper filtration and treatment may be necessary to ensure the water is safe for consumption.


Rainwater storage is a sustainable and efficient method of water management that offers numerous benefits. By collecting and storing rainwater, individuals can reduce their reliance on mains water, alleviate pressure on stormwater systems, and enjoy the natural benefits of rainwater. With the availability of various rainwater storage systems, it is possible for households and businesses to implement this eco-friendly solution and contribute to water conservation efforts.