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Lowcountry Rain Harvesting in the News!
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American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

Above are four Ivy rain barrels "daisy chained" together to supply a drip irrigation system on a garden in Charleston. Click here to learn more.

Above is a 1500 gallon cistern installed at Mitchell Elementary School in Charleston to supply rainwater for drip irrigation for the schools community garden. Click here to learn more.

Lowcountry Rain Harvesting, based in Charleston, South Carolina, designs and constructs custom rainwater harvesting systems for the conservation-minded residents and companies of South Carolina, to promote and encourage environmentally aware living through sustainable water use practices.

What is rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is simply catching the rain falling on your roof via gutters and downspouts and re-routing the water to your rain barrel(s) or cistern for later use. If you don't have gutters, you can still collect rainwater by placing a rain barrel under your eaves, or by installing a simple diverter on your roof and direct the water into a rain barrel on the ground.

RWH is also a great way to reduce storm water runoff thereby preventing many pollutants from entering our waterways. We size a cistern to capture the water coming off of your roof and then after the rain event we release it slowly into the ground via drip tubing. By doing this we are getting closer to a pre development hydrologic cycle of 50% infiltration and 10% runoff as opposed to the post development 15% infiltration and 55% runoff.

What is rainwater used for?

Gardening - Plants love rainwater! Rainwater is nearly Ph Neutral which is what plants thrive in. Why use municipal water with fluoride and chlorine when you can use all natural harvested rainwater in your garden? 

Cleaning - You can use it to wash your car, your pets, and to do your laundry. 

Toilets - You can use it to flush your toilets. 

Drinking - With the proper filtration installed by a professional plumber, it can also be used as drinking water. 

Emergencies - It's also great as a supply of water after storms.

How much rainwater can I collect?

In Charleston, South Carolina, the average rainfall is 50 inches. One square foot of roof surface will capture 6/10ths of a gallon for every one inch of rain. That means if you have a 1,000 square ft. roof, you could capture over 30,000 gallons a year! An empty rain barrel will fill up in a matter of minutes during a summer afternoon storm. Use the calculation below to find out how much you can collect from your roof. If you are in the Charleston area, click here to go to the ROK Rainharvest website and enter your address for your catchment potential!

Roof Square Ft. x .6 x 50 = Collection Potential 

How much does it cost?

The cost of rainwater harvesting varies along with your needs. You can do something as simple as placing a rain barrel under your downspout to water your garden or install a large cistern with a pump and filtration for all your water needs. 

Estimates are free within Charleston County.

Below is an example of a typical cistern system for irrigation or to control storm water.