Harvest your rain. There is enormous potential to reduce municipal water use in Utah by implementing rainwater collection programs. Utahns can reduce municipal water demand and mitigate the effects of drought by participating in the URC’s popular RainHarvest program. Our RainHarvest program encourages homeowners and small businesses to reduce water use and improve the water quality of local streams, rivers and lakes by collecting rainwater.
RainHarvest conserves water. Rainwater harvesting can help growing communities expand their water supply by reducing water demand on municipal systems where most of the water is used on outdoor landscapes. Rain barrels are placed under roof downspouts and collect the water that falls during rainstorms.
RainHarvest improves water quality. Much of the rain that falls becomes runoff, which is funneled into stormwater systems and nearby waterways. Retaining rainwater where it falls by barrel collection helps reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that scours our streets, driveways and gutters and washes urban pollutants into local water bodies. This is a valuable water quality benefit because runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways nationwide.
How does RainHarvest work? Through the RainHarvest program, the URC partners with municipalities to subsidize the cost of rain barrels for their residents. Salt Lake County, Murray, Sandy, Park City, Summit County, Ogden and Eagle Mountain partnered with the Utah Rivers Council to distribute over 3300 rain barrels to Utah residents. This means every time it rains enough to fill a 50-gallon barrel 165,000 gallons of water are saved through this simple practice. Over time this savings will grow to millions of gallons of water.
How much water can RainHarvest save? Rainwater harvesting is cost-effective and can conserve large amounts of water. It is estimated that between 15,020 - 22,940 gallons of rainwater fall on a Salt Lake County house during the Spring, Summer and Fall. A GIS model developed at Utah Valley University found that from April through October, Salt Lake City could collect 400 - 525 million gallons of water on residential buildings alone. Incorporating rainwater harvesting practices on commercial buildings would increase this potential water savings.
Isn’t rainwater harvesting illegal in Utah? As of 2010, all Utahns are allowed to legally collect up to 2,500 gallons of rainwater on their property in covered above ground containers or in underground cisterns. If a residence is collecting rain water in more than two containers under 100 gallons or in one container above 100 gallons, they must register with the State Engineer. The process is free and can be completed in just a few minutes online.
Contact us and we’ll let you know about upcoming rain barrel sales and municipal partnerships.