7. How much does a rainwater harvesting system for a typical single-family home cost?
A complete rainwater harvesting system for a typical single-family home will generally cost between $8,000 and $10,000. The single largest cost in a rainwater harvesting system is the storage tank. As expected, the cost of a tank depends on its size and construction material. On a per gallon basis, this cost can range from about 50 cents for a fiberglass tank to more than $4 for a welded steel tank. Other components such as gutters, downspouts, roof washers, pumps, and pressure tanks will add to the cost of the system. Professionally installed systems can further increase costs. If the intended use of the system is to collect water for drinking, costs for disinfection must be added to the total cost.
16. What are some of the benefits of rainwater harvesting?
There are a number of benefits to using water from rainwater harvesting systems:
• The water is practically free: the only cost is to collect and treat it.
• The end use is located close to the source, thereby eliminating the need for costly distribution systems.
• Rainwater provides a source of water when a more traditional source such as groundwater is unavailable or the quality unacceptable.
• The zero hardness of rainwater helps prevent scales from building up on appliances and so extends the life of appliances.
• Rainwater is free of sodium.
• Rainwater is superior for landscape use and plants thrive on rainwater.
• Rainwater harvesting reduces flow to storm sewers and the threat of flooding.