Simple hacks for setting up a rainwater harvesting system

Date: 12-August,2020Last Updated: 26-September,2022
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Here’s something on “simple hacks for setting up rainwater harvesting system in your home” for you today!

It’s monsoons already. The drains are gurgling, roads choking mud and muck. The rainwater gushing down all lanes and alleys. But then, even though there is plenty of rain lashing our land, only 10-20 percent of the annual rainfall is utilised in India, according to reports. The rest of which is obviously misspent.

When water is an important resource in itself, is it wise to let it go wasted like this? We think not! That’s why we have come up with certain ‘simple hacks for setting up a rainwater harvesting system in your own house’!

Let us see how! These are some of the must-have’s for working out a rainwater harvesting system in your house:

rainwater collection system

1. Rain Barrels:

Rain barrels can be used to collect the storm water from roofs. Typically, the water collected in rain barrels are utilized for watering plants. A rain barrel system contains a screening lid to flitter debris and also a spigot or a tap with a hose connected at it’s end for collected water supply, to aid purposes like gardening. Also, the addition of an overflow control in the barrels can automatically direct the water to a downpipe into rain gutters. This can be done using a diverter, whenever the barrel is full.

The setup:

  • Using PVC pipes, you can direct the rain water flowing down the roofs of your house to drain directly into a rain barrel of chosen size.

  • The market available rain drums are generally made of plastic.

  • Make sure you choose a rain drum with a removable lid for easy maintenance.

Choice off rain barrels:

  • The size of rain barrels can range from 50 litre models to 50,000 litre capacity models.

  • However, the latter is preferred for commercial use and for residential purposes, the former with lesser volume storage can serve the need.

Costing: A rain barrel of about 500 litres approximately costs Rs 2500.

2. Rain Reservoirs:

These reservoir tanks can be made out of concrete and hence can be a permanent strategy serving the water harvesting needs, any day. So, even though the initial cost is comparably a little more to plastic rain barrels, thinking of the longer run, this can be a better fit option! Don’t you fret on that! Also, maintenance can be proposed in dry, scrubbing of the algae on the walls if any. Again, screening can be done to avoid accumulation of litter.

The setup:

In this technique, the stormwater flowing on the roof can be collected through a pipe and sent to a reservoir instead of a barrel.

Choice of reservoirs:

  • They hold more capacity compared to the barrels. Ferro-cement tanks, reinforced brickwork, PVC or corrugated iron tanks are options to consider.

  • While sticking onto permanent concrete tank alternative, experienced people always advise to consider the cost-benefit ratio.

  • The slope of the roof and annual rainfall is another point of consideration.


This mostly depends on the material used. On an average, a ferro-cement tank, costs about Rs 12,000 for a capacity of 5000 litres. For plastic tanks, the amount can be further less.

 rooftop rainwater harvesting

3. Rain Saucers and Rain Chains:

Both the options are best fit for a household rain water collection system. Rain saucers can help save rainwater, even in scenarios where you have little to no space for setting up a whole stormwater harvesting system, like in flats. It doesn’t require connection to roof or gutters. Let us see how!

The setup:

  • While the setting up of a rain saucer requires funnel, PVC pipes and storage accessories like buckets. These rain saucers are generally teamed with barrels.

  • Rain water collected through funnels can channel through the pipes to reach the storage unit, which lies beneath.

  • Rain chains on the other hand work associated with rain gutters and help direct the flow of water directly to a storage container without further wash away!

  • The runoff water can thus be transported downwards from the collecting pipe to the drains easily.

Tip: People who have tried this technique at home have say that these saucers help collect water that can be properly filtered and even used for purposes like drinking!

Choice of rain saucers and chains:

  • The rain chains are also used for decorations and open before us a two-in-one tailor-made solution for both – minimal rainwater harvesting and ornamental setting up.

  • Rain saucers on top of drums or barrels made of plastics for rainwater harvesting is a common sight.

  • Rain chains with copper basins and vertical tubes, are highly preferred considering their durability features and aesthetics.

  • Nowadays, there are new hacks on board making using of materials like repurposed old metal spoons to make rain-chains!


Copper rain chains ranging from prices of Rs 2000 and rain saucers of prices below Rs.5000, can be bought online.

4. Rooftop rainwater harvesting:

Rooftop water catchment clubbed with storage tanks can be a benefitting option as far as rainwater harvesting is concerned. The water can also be stored in sub-surface ground reservoirs and later put to domestic use. Generally, the water thus stored is used for the dry season.

The set up:

Rooftop rainwater harvesting set up is best preferred in apartments compared tosurface run-off rainwater harvesting techniques, for the former is less expensive. The set up includes:

  • Collection of rainwater from roofs through PVC conduits and sending it to sumps with filters inside.

  • Through a pump, water is pumped to an overhead tank or borewell system.

  • This rainwater so collected is then used for a variety of purposes.

Choice of rooftop harvesting:

  • In cities crammed with villas and apartments and huge water requirement, the choice of having a rooftop rainwater harvesting system is highly benefitting.

  • A main reason being – it can act as a back up of water as well as preventing water flooding in cases of intense downpour.


A single set up for an entire apartment complex can cost on an average Rs. 30 ,000 or below, with filters, percolation pits, plumbing and storage tanks.

A said, “you never know the worth of water until the well runs dry.” The time is now, to save water in whatever way possible!

So that was some details on “simple hacks for setting up rainwater harvesting system in your home”. Hope you find the matter useful!

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