Pressurized Rainwater Collection System

When you picture a rainwater collection system at a house I bet you picture a rain barrel placed under a gutter. Maybe it can water a few plants nearby but it’s not super useful. Well it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to rely on gravity to provide a little trickle of water to a few plants that happen to be downhill from your barrel.

What am I talking about?

shallow well pump

What if you could turn on a tap and have rainwater pressurized just like a normal hose or water tap? You can and it’s not that hard. You can use a well pump to pressurize the water in your rain barrel or other type of tank. The pump will turn on when the pressure drops and turn off when you close the tap, it’s the same system that people use on wells.

For rainwater use, you won’t need a large pump because you don’t have to raise the water from great depths. The smallest size shallow well pump will work just fine. 1/3 hp will do. I got mine off Amazon but Harbor Freight has some too. I personally have not had great luck with pumps from Harbor Freight so I elected to buy a descent brand once.

well pump pressure gaugeThe video above shows my home system consisting of 2 IBC tots that total about 600 gallons. We use the pump to water our plants and any other water needs we have outdoors. I flush my saltwater boat a lot during the summer and pressure wash the pavement once a year. My “temporary” garden hose system has lasted almost 3 years but eventually I plan on running 3/4″ PVC around the house. Currently the pump turns of if pressure drops below 40 psi and stops at 60 psi which is perfect for my uses so far. Also I added another valve to flush the toilet off this system too. Seattle just made that legal.

Rain water sprayer hose

Despite what people think the water stays very clear and we regularly fill the children’s water table on the deck with it. It’s crystal clear. Mine is not filtered enough to drink. we¬†go through 600 gallons in less than 2 weeks during the summer and that’s not watering the grass everyday. It’s pretty amazing how fast water goes.

Pump w/ pressure switch:
4 gallon Pressure Tank:

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