For both commercial scale and residential properies, irrigation water demand can be very high. With each 1,000 square feet irrigated using around 625 gallons of water per week, the demand can be very high. Since outdoor applications are the easiest way to use rainwater, this is the first place ECOVIE will look to estimate your water consumption when designing your rainwater collection system. Because your actual use can vary significantly from standard rule of thumb estimates, we will estimate just how much you need and then design a system to meet your needs.
Tuning Up Your Irrigation System:
Before we estimate your outdoor watering needs, we recommend inspecting your irrigation system to determine whether it’s working as efficiently as possible. Checking and repairing leaks and making sure spray heads are going directly to the plants and areas intended will reduce water use substantially.
Since irrigation systems are notorious water wasters, a first step toward designing a rainwater system is to optimize your irrigation system and convert as much as possible to to high efficiency spray heads and drip irrigation. Drip irrigation uses 40-60% less water than standard spray irrigation and hydrates plants more efficiently.
Estimating Your Outdoor Watering Needs:
Next we’ll determine how much you really need to water your landscaping. This is actually a fairly complicated question to answer because it depends on the types of plants and grass you have, the amount of shade they receive, and the weather. In addition, the efficiency of irrigation systems in getting water where it’s needed is a big factor. But, in general the amount of rain we receive is not enough to supply optimal watering for plants to thrive. Using collected rainwater can make up this gap with clean, chlorine-free water that reduces demand on municipal water supplies and can save you thousands of dollars per year.
Other Outdoor Uses:
Other outdoor uses of collected rainwater include pool filling, car washing, and power washing which typically represent a much smaller but collectively significant amount — adding up to hundreds of gallons per month in the summer.
Rainwater harvesting is perfect for outdoor water use. Check out the next section to find how easy is for indoor uses as well!