6 Best Small Rainwater Collection System| 2021 (Reviews)

The intake of water by humans has significant environmental consequences. Using one of these six finest little rain harvesting kits, on the other hand, can make a significant difference in the world.

In this day and age, clean water is often taken for granted in industrialized countries where it is readily available and abundant. Recent water scarcity, on the other hand, has put various locations around the world in danger. The general public is exposed to significant dangers as a result.

The good news is that everything is still on track. Clean water literally falls from the sky, and it is absolutely free to harvest and recycle for your own personal use and benefit.

6 Best Small Rain Harvesting Kits

Best Overall: GROW1 Collapsible Reservoir Water Tank

  • Capacity: 13-265 gallons
  • Design: Collapsible rainwater harvester
  • The High Points: Very easy to set up; available in sizes to suit anyone’s storage needs; easy to move.
  • The Not-So: The tank’s inlet is rather small and may need to be adapted to allow water to freely flow into the tank.

The Grow1 foldable rainwater harvester is a useful piece of equipment that can be used in a variety of situations. Getting it there, setting it up and using it is a breeze.

Because of its wide range of sizes, the unit is ideal for homes who have limited floor space. Those people range from those who live in apartments to those who live on big tracts of land.

The ability to collapse the unit and move it to a new location with no effort is a really useful feature to have. Homeowners can easily relocate the tank from one area to another or from one property to another. It all relies on the weather patterns at the time. During dry spells, it can also be quickly stowed away and forgotten about.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Though opinions on this item have been divided, the majority of reviewers have given it excellent marks. Many purchasers were impressed with the overall structural soundness and build quality of the Grow1 structure. The installation and set-up of the unit were said to be far more straightforward when the device was dry rather than wet, according to some.

The ease with which this item may be assembled was praised by reviewers, and it is a significant selling factor. Others like the possibility of removing the tank and storing it when it was not in use. Several reviewers, on the other hand, expressed concern about the connections not being adequately tightened and resulting in leaks.

Features & Considerations

When it comes to setup, a collapsible unit is simple and convenient. However, it is more susceptible to injury from sharp items, which should be taken into consideration by those who use it.

The unit’s inlet is a little on the small side. In order to funnel more rain into the tank during storms, you may need to increase the size of the tank’s opening. Both of these drawbacks may make the device a little more difficult to set up for people who intend to use it frequently.

Because of its height, the unit’s shape generates a significant amount of water pressure. That is a significant advantage for those who intend to utilize it in conjunction with a hose.

It is true that the spigot is installed exactly at the bottom of the unit. The unit does not have any insulation. However, because of the way it is constructed, it has the ability to stretch a little if the water freezes in the winter, preventing it from bursting accidentally.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Runner-Up: FreeGarden Rain Barrel

  • Capacity: 55 gallons
  • Design: Solid plastic rainwater harvester
  • The High Points: Super simple set up; can be connected in a series; rigid design.
  • The Not-So: Not the prettiest; may be too small for some homeowners.

When it comes to setting up a rain harvesting system, the FreeGarden Rain Barrel is by far the most straightforward option available. Simply position the unit under a gutter or in a location where water naturally falls off the roof and wait for it to fill up until it is completely full.

With its simple, no-fuss design, the FreeGarden Rain Barrel is sure to be a hit with individuals who wish to collect rainwater but don’t have the technical know-how or the time to make modifications to their gutter system. As a result of the system’s size and shape, it can be transported easily in the back of a standard automobile as well.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

It’s safe to say that the FreeGarden Barrel has received positive feedback. Several reviewers applauded the ease with which the item could be assembled and installed, and the majority of them appreciated the fact that it was ready to use right out of the box. Furthermore, the ability to connect multiple units together in a series makes it a genuine winner for consumers wishing to expand their capacity.

Several reviewers mentioned cracking after experiencing severe winter frosts, so if you live in a region that sees harsh winters, it may be a good idea to investigate what steps may be made to prevent this problem from occurring.

There have also been reports of leakage surrounding the spigot, according to the reviews. Moving the unit when it is full has also resulted in the unit cracking, so it is recommended that you maintain it empty until you are ready to move.

Characteristics and Considerations

The largest unit does not necessarily have to be the largest. However, this little difficulty is outweighed by the fact that it may be linked together in a succession, allowing each barrel to be filled as soon as the previous one is completely filled. This is made simple by joining them together using the overflow pipes that are found on the top of the container, near the lid.

The FreeGarden’s unusual concave top, which directs water into a mesh filter, allows it to collect water from a broader area, allowing it to be utilized even if there is no gutter system in place to collect water. Leaves and debris are prevented from entering the water thanks to the mesh filter, which also keeps mosquitoes away.

The square shape and strong build make it ideal for fitting into tight spaces where round, softer devices may not be suited for use. When compared to other designs, a well-made brass spigot is situated higher on the barrel, which makes filling watering cans much easier. As an added bonus, the function prevents any debris from becoming trapped in the spigot.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Most Sturdy Option: Suncast Rain Barrel

  • Capacity: 50 gallons
  • Design: Rigid resin rainwater harvester
  • The High Points: Small and out of the way; compact, easy to use; comes with hoses included.
  • The Not-So: Not the most attractive; low to the ground build produces very little water pressure.

The Suncast Rain Barrel is an excellent choice if you want a straightforward, small unit that does its job efficiently and doesn’t get in the way. When placed among office supplies storage bins, this low-to-the-ground strong small device wouldn’t look out of place. However, this isn’t necessarily the most aesthetically beautiful arrangement. The software, on the other hand, performs admirably and requires minimal effort.

Using a Suncast Rain Barrel, homeowners can simply lay it under a source of falling water and wait for it to gather, allowing them to store it for later use. Given the unit’s durable plastic structure, it should be capable of withstanding minor knocks and scrapes without leaking. The hoses that are included with the unit are a convenient addition that completes the package.

What Do Reviewers Say?

The simplicity of the Suncast machine, as well as its sturdy and unobtrusive appearance, were praised by reviewers. Several reviewers remarked on the usefulness of the sturdy construction and the tightly fitting lid. They appreciated the ability to link several units together, allowing them to increase the amount of water available by 50 gallons for each additional unit they purchased.

In other reviews, customers have reported that the unit’s foundation has developed cracks and has subsequently leaked, with some attributing this to freezing issues during the winter months. During cold winters, it is typically recommended that inflexible rain barrels not be used since the water contained within them has the potential to freeze and expand, causing the structure to shatter.

Some consumers have complained that the unit’s low-to-the-earth construction results in low water pressure coming out of the hose, however this may be rectified by elevating the unit above the ground.

Features & Considerations

It is the design of the Suncast Rain Barrel that has its own set of benefits and drawbacks to consider. When it comes to water pressure, height and volume are both advantageous characteristics.

This barrel, on the other hand, is excessively low, and it may result in pressure problems. When utilized in the garden, the height, on the other hand, makes the device more durable and functional.

The hoses are a welcome addition. They take away the hassle of having to go out and obtain the necessary fittings and sizes for your specific equipment.

There is also a shut-off valve built into the hose, which makes it even more practical. Due to the low pressure, the hose cannot be used as a sprayer, as it would otherwise be.

Consequently, it is significantly more convenient to simply drop the hose into your watering can or near some thirsty plants to slowly water them while you are engaged in other activities.

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Most Attractive: Algreen Castilla Rain Barrel 50-Gallon

  • Capacity: 50 gallons
  • Design: Plastic planter water harvester
  • The High Points: Looks great; disguised as a potted plant; durable; extra opening for hoses at the bottom.
  • The Not-So: Not the biggest; plastic spigot.

The Algreen Castilla Rain Barrel is the perfect addition to your landscape if you’re looking for something that stands out. This charming little barrel is both long-lasting and multi-purpose. Residents can grow a small plant in the top compartment, while water is gathered in the bottom compartment through a mesh-covered opening in the bottom.

However, despite the fact that the device is quite expensive when you consider the number of gallons it can hold, you may double your collection capacity by installing one of them under every downpipe in your home (or aspiring earthship). Because of its appealing form, the additional barrels will not give the impression that your home is a large industrial grow operation.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

The Algreen Castilla Rain Barrel received a lot of positive feedback, mostly because of its practical and visually appealing design. The planting section was a welcome addition for many owners, while others complained that it was too tiny and that additional drainage holes were required.

The unit’s extremely light weight construction was cited as both a benefit and a con by reviewers. If you reside in a particularly windy place, it is recommended that you retain a few gallons of water in the barrel in case it blows over in the windy conditions. Its small weight, on the other hand, makes it a breeze to carry around the yard and garden.

The early-model spigot did receive some negative feedback from reviewers, with many stating that it was of poor quality overall. Later models of this machine are equipped with a brass spigot, which has resolved the previously mentioned problem. This change demonstrates the company’s commitment to improving customer happiness and its readiness to go the extra mile to make it happen.

Characteristics and Considerations

Due to the Algreen’s attractiveness when compared to other plain, unattractive competitors, this rain harvester is highly distinctive. Most people would walk right past one without even noticing that it was a water storage container, and the textured treatment on the barrel’s exterior transforms it into a very convincing pot.

Users with high water demands or vast gardens may find the barrel’s capacity to be a little on the modest side. Homeowners, on the other hand, might place a barrel beneath each down pipe without interfering with the calm of their garden.

Aside from its attractive form, the barrel is equipped with a number of useful features. The intake is covered with mesh to prevent debris from entering the barrel and potentially clogging the spigots. Owners should keep a look out for any possible larvae, as it does not totally prevent mosquitoes from entering and establishing a camp.

During severe rains, the unit has the ability to overflow into another barrel, allowing customers to fill up numerous barrels at the same time to enhance overall capacity.

See the Amazon price for more information.

For Those Who Need More Water Storage: AutoPot 265 Gallon FlexiTank

  • Capacity: 265 gallons
  • Design: Collapsible rainwater harvester
  • The High Points: Large enough for even the biggest properties; easy to transport.
  • The Not-So: Not the prettiest; more susceptible to being damaged.

For those who want to save as much rain as possible, the Autopot 265 Gallon FlexiTank is one of the greatest options available on the market. The amount of water this behemoth is capable of storing should allow residents of locations with good rainfall patterns to fully eliminate their reliance on municipal water supplies altogether.

Larger properties will benefit greatly from the tank because it can be strategically positioned out of the way, but smaller gardens may find it impractical. This container is primarily intended for use as a water storage tank, and therefore may require minor modifications, such as a hole in the lid, in order to be utilized in combination with a gutter system.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

The lightweight structure, ease of transit and installation, and foldable design have all been praised by the reviewers. The unit’s lid, which can be opened and closed with a zippered closure, garnered excellent comments. As a result of the unit’s structure, some reviews cautioned against moving the tank while it was still filled with water.

Some reviewers reported that their devices developed leaks as a result of strained stitching. Others were dissatisfied with the fact that their tanks tended to sweat excessively on hot days. Those who used the tank did not experience any problems with the spigot, which is a regular concern with rainwater storage facilities.

Characteristics and Considerations

The advantages and disadvantages of this AutoPot are much the same as those of any collapsible tank, and prospective purchasers should carefully examine whether this type of design is the best fit for them before purchasing.

The foldable tank may be assembled without the use of any tools, which is a benefit. For those trying to get the most out of their purchase, the enormous tank may also be used to house an aquaponics/aquaculture system, which might produce fresh veggies or even delectable fish for the dinner table for those who are ambitious.

The lack of authorized inflow holes for downpipes to drain rainwater into this unit will necessitate the user either unzipping the top in a small part or cutting a hole in the lid to allow for funneling. While this is not the best method because mosquitoes would be able to come in through the unzipped region, it is a reasonably simple process to create a hole.

If users want to keep undesired debris out of their water, they may need to install an additional mesh filter.

See the Amazon price for more information.

For Those on a Budget: Goplus Portable Collapsible Rain Barrel

  • Capacity: 56 gallons
  • Design: Collapsible rainwater harvester
  • The High Points: Cheap; easy to use; blends in with the garden.
  • The Not-So: Spigot is positioned at ground level; susceptible to cuts and tears.

With the Goplus Portable Collapsible Rain Barrel, you can get started harvesting rainwater quickly and affordably with minimal out-of-pocket expenses. A minimal but effective design allows for the most functionality possible in a small package. Residents need just to position the unit under a downpipe and wait for it to rain; the mesh-covered hole in the center of the lid will take care of everything else.

This low-cost alternative may not be as attractive as some other solutions, but because of its affordability, it provides a quick return on investment. Additionally, the unit’s compact size makes it an excellent choice for individuals who have small gardens and want to tuck it away out of sight.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

Reviews expressed great satisfaction with the unit’s simple, no-fuss setup as well as its capacity to gather rain without the need for any complicated changes. The rapidity with which the unit fills during rain showers was a major plus for most reviewers, with one claiming that it only took 15 minutes during medium rainfall to completely fill the tank.

When it comes to the structural integrity of this unit, the opinions of the reviewers were divided. Some people thought it was quite well constructed, while others said the shoddy design caused leaks. It was reported that sealing it with silicon increased its longevity by years, according to the reviews.

Characteristics and Considerations

Despite the fact that the unit is identical to other collapsible models, it distinguishes itself from others by having a dedicated mesh-covered hole in the center of the lid. While the barrel’s neutral green color blends nicely with the surrounding landscape, its compact size is ideal for storing items during dry periods or throughout the winter months.

In contrast, because the faucet’s height is rather low, it may be difficult to fill watering cans if the spigot is installed on the ground. Instead, you should elevate the unit on a few cinder blocks so that the increased water pressure can aid in the smoother evacuation of the rainwater from beneath the unit.

See the Amazon price for more information.

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The Complete Small Rain Harvesting Kits Buyer’s Guide

What to Look for in a Small Rain Harvesting Kit

With so many models on the market, it’s become increasingly more difficult to find the perfect small rain harvesting kit for your garden or balcony. When scrolling through your options, whether online or off, it’s important to keep in mind several major factors before investing in costly or cumbersome unit.

What type of climate do you live in?

This is the biggest consideration to make when choosing a rain harvesting kit. There are main different sizes, shapes and capacities. Determining the amount of gallons you’ll most likely be collecting before purchase will save you many headaches down the line.

Here are a few questions to start off with:

  • How often does it rain where you live?
  • Do you experience a long dry season?
  • Do you experience regular rain patterns?

Those who experience long dry periods and those with infrequent rains will benefit from choosing a larger rainwater harvesting unit over a smaller one. A single 50-gallon unit may be just fine for those only looking to water their garden here and there but will not be enough for someone in an area where the next rains may be 3 or 4 months out.

What type of garden do you have?

A small garden comprised primarily of drought-resistant plants will almost certainly consume significantly less water than a large garden comprised primarily of thirsty species. A garden packed with drought-resistant plants may require only one-quarter the amount of water that a garden of the same size filled with water-hungry tropical plants would require, according to some estimates.

Having a significant amount of grass on your lawn will use a lot of water, thus if you have a lot of grass, you should go for more water storage rather than less. Calculating how many gallons per person per day you use during periods of heavy rain (when your garden isn’t being watered at all) and months with no rain (when you will be using the maximum amount of water on your garden) can be done easily using your water bill to determine how much water you use and how much water you will need to store.

Are you planning on emptying the water tank frequently?

If you answered yes, you’ll need to hunt for a unit that has a well-made spigot to fit your needs. Rainwater harvesting equipment are frequently subjected to customer complaints about spigots that are broken, leak, or become easily clogged. In general, a brass spigot is preferable to a plastic spigot in terms of durability.

Consider the height of your water spigot when choosing a faucet for your unit, as well. Because your watering can will be filled from the bottom of the tank, you will have a tough time filling the can if your spigot is positioned at the bottom of the tank and you are unable to raise the tank off of the ground.

While it is possible to elevate your tank on a few concrete blocks to improve water pressure and accessibility, doing so may be an annoyance and an eyesore for residents.

Do you want to link your tanks together for overflow?

Rain harvesters frequently arrange their units in a cell-like configuration, in which numerous units are connected to form a single huge storage unit, as shown in the image below. The advantage of using this strategy is that it allows one to significantly increase the amount of water captured from a single point without having to make any adjustments to their gutters or the placement of the units.

The majority of the tanks on our list are capable of being connected in series to overflow into one another. However, if you’re seeking to create a true sequence of barrels, the finest models are ones that have particular overflow pipes that allow you to effortlessly move water from one barrel to the next.

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Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Rain Harvesting Kits

Capacity

The most important factor in an effective rain harvesting system is how much water it can collect and store. The larger the capacity of the unit, the more useful it will be for the homeowner due to a higher water pressure. That’s also due to longer lasting water supply for the garden.

We also considered the ability to connect several units. That would effectively increase the total amount of water stored for smaller units.

Ease of Use

Many homeowners don’t have the ability to make the adequate adjustments to their gutter system. So, we made it a priority to find units which require the least amount of effort and technical knowledge for installation.

It’s true that most systems do require at least some adjustments to make downpipes a bit shorter. However, we selected those that needed minimal work.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I bother harvesting rain when tap water is cheap?

While accessing the water grid is as simple as turning a knob in most areas, there are some major drawbacks to relying solely on tap water. Collecting rainwater has several important benefits for individual communities and the world at large:

  1.  Reduction in water bill: With a comprehensive rain harvesting system, the average homeowner can expect to save around 40% or 50% on their water bill.
  2. Improved stormwater management: Rainwater harvesting reduces the amount of damage stormwater does to cities and helps reduce the effects of erosion and flooding. The capturing of this water imitates natural spaces that absorb water more easily than paved, concrete-filled urban areas.
  3. Happier gardens: Rainwater is usually pH neutral and free of minerals which makes it far better for most plant species in your garden.
  4. Reduces environmental impact: City water consumption often has a massive impact on local ecosystems due to the building of dams, tapping of groundwater and use of energy to transport. Reducing water demand in cities is an impactful way to lessen pressure placed on our environment.

How do I adapt my gutter’s downpipe to fill my unit?

In order to fill a unit effectively during times of rain, you must redirect a gutter system’s water flow onto/into your rainwater harvesting unit. There are several solutions to this relatively simple problem:

How large does my roof surface need to be?

Here’s a simple calculation to work out how much water you could catch with the size of your roof:

Amount collected (gallons) = roof area (ft2) X precipitation amount (inches received) X 0.623
The larger the roof that is draining into your gutter, the more water you will ultimately be able to divert into your barrel to be stored for later. Obviously, losses can happen in times of heavy rain when the gutter may overflow, but if it truly is raining hard, your unit will be filled regardless. Keeping your gutter system clear of debris and in tip-top shape is always a good idea if you plan to harvest rain.

Can I drink my harvested rainwater?

In theory, you can drink harvested rainwater, but it is largely not worth the risks involved. There are several factors to consider when harvesting rainwater for consumption and we have listed some of these below.

Chemical contaminants

Water that has been harvested from roofs may be contaminated by building materials. These harsh chemicals aren’t an issue when used to water plants as they are filtered by soil but are quite harmful to the human body. BPA may also leach from the plastic water tanks.

Pathogens

Pathogens have a remarkable knack for getting into water no matter where it may be. Dust, bird droppings, and other nasties that may find their way into water will contaminate otherwise clean rainwater. You can deal with pathogens by using chlorine tablets or boiling the water.

How do I keep my water fresh?

There are several ways to maintain freshness in your rainwater storage tanks.

  1. Pick a good location: The sun is not your friend when it comes to rainwater storage units as it causes algal growth, degrades plastic containers and warms water, allowing bacteria to flourish. Try to keep your unit in a location that has shade and cool. The shade of a building is always better than that of trees due to the risk of debris getting into the water.
  2. Collect pure water from the start: Try to keep the water entering your unit as pure and uncontaminated as possible. A good mesh/filter system that prevents debris from entering the unit will help keep the water sterile. The cleaner the water entering your system, the longer it will stay fresh.
  3. Use your water: Using the water you have stored means you won’t give it the opportunity to spoil. The amount of time rainwater will stay fresh largely depends on your environmental factors, but you should check it regularly in any case. If the water is not looking in the best of condition, it is a good idea to empty your tank.
  4. Routine cleaning: Emptying and cleaning barrels every so often is a great way to keep them fresh and avoid bacteria build up in the vessel. If you’re using the tank for drinking water, you should do this once every 10 days.
  5. Decontaminating your drinking water: In situations where you’re storing water for drinking purposes, you can use chlorine tablets to kill bacteria. Just make sure that you aren’t using this water on plants as chlorine can sometimes harm them. The addition of a pump or aerator to circulate water within the unit is a good way to keep water fresh for longer and is advisable for larger scale setups.

How do I control mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes entering your unit and laying their eggs in your water supply might be a problem for some people who live in units that do not have fine mesh covered entry holes, as described above. The most obvious remedy to this problem is to seal your unit as tightly as possible, but if this is not an option or is not practical, there are other alternatives.

A long-standing concept, using fish to control mosquito larvae has been around for a long time. The most practical method to dealing with these obnoxious intruders is frequently to use chemicals.

The Western mosquito-fish is the most frequently encountered fish in this situation. This is due to the fact that they are hardy and do not require much in order to grow and begin reproducing.

Add a handful of these to your tank and you’ll be rid of your mosquito larvae within a few days. Additionally, their excrement will enrich the nutritional value of your water for your plants.

You could also experiment with mosquito dunks. Those are little blocks or rings of materials that can be dissolved. These devices successfully eliminate all mosquito larvae existing in your water supply. These compounds are perfectly safe for both humans and animals to be exposed to.

Their method of operation is to use bacteria that naturally grow in soil to kill off the larvae that consume them once they become present in the water source. All of the larvae in your water system should be dead in less than a week after you install a dunk, and your water should be mosquito-free for around a month after you install the device.

Another approach is to dilute your water with a small amount of frying oil. Essentially, any larvae in the water are suffocated as a result of this method of operation.

This is due to the fact that their breathing tubes are unable to penetrate the oil film that has formed on the surface of the water. You should only need about a tablespoon of oil to kill your mosquito larvae if you decide to use it that way.

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