Lake Norman Green Homes: Harvesting Your Rain Water

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Lake Norman Rain Barrel

The good news this week is that many towns around Lake Norman are loosening their water restrictions thanks to some much needed rain this past summer.  But, this doesn’t mean that we Lake Norman home owners shouldn’t conserve water.


Mooresville’s Rain Barrel

Harvesting rain is one of the easiest and most instantly rewarding efforts when creating a “green” home.  According to the Town of Mooresville who was selling these rain barrels last May , it takes just 1/4? of rain to fill this 80 gallon barrel!  (I’m not sure if they are still selling them but you can call them at 704.663.3800.  I will provide other resources below.)

The practice of rainwater harvesting, the process of collecting rainwater that falls naturally and storing it for the future goes back to the ancient civilizations.  But, thanks to modern technology, more homeowners, even in Lake Norman, are understanding the value of our environment and our water supplies and are creating water harvesting systems in their own yards.

The simplest and most common way to capture rain is by removing a downspout and postioning a water barrel on a flat, level surface to catch the rain as in the photo above.

More elavorate above ground systems designed by such companies as RainEscape can use up to 10,000 gallon portable water storage tanks.

1700 Gallon Underground Tank

According to Tom VanZeeland, President, Territory Executive for RainEscape their Aquaeras – Rainwater Harvesting System is like Rain Barrels on Steroids!  It includes:

1. On-Demand system – Turn on a faucet, flush a toilet, irrigation timer starts
2. Sold as a Turn Key Kit of tank(s) & Controls (starting at $3799 less freight)
3. Above or Below Ground potable rated Tanks, 20 gallons to 10,000 gallons
4. 20-30 gallons / minute output @ 50-80 psi
5. 175? maximum Head water
6. Centrifugal force filtering down to almost 50 microns – Won’t clog Misting systems
or Drip systems.  Easy backflow cleaning for easy maintenance.
7. Female air hose fitting for easy winterizing of Irrigation system to blow out water
in water lines outside.
8. Water can be made Potable by adding additional filters.

Magic Calculation:  For EACH 1,000 sq. ft. of collecting surface you have, you can estimate 600+ gallons for Each 1? of Rain!!! (ie:  3,000 sq. ft. = 1,800 gallons for 1? of rain)

On Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Charlotte this past August, they installed their Aquaeras automated rainwater collection system using this 1700 gallon underground tank.  The system included a tank, pump and controller which can actually pump water to your irrigation systems or even for indoor use.
In Charlotte, Lifewater is a new company that installs rain harvesting systems as well as designs waterfalls, streams and ponds using rainwater. According to their owner, Scott Barfield, typical uses for rain water are:
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Laundry
  • Toilet flushing
  • Car washing
  • Filling pools and fountains

Whether you merely want to collect rainwater from you downspouts or want to include a complete system while building a new home, any effort to save our precious Lake Norman water is a great way towards creating your “green” home!

Rainwater Harvesting Resources

Life Water Designs in Charlotte




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