Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting

Some people are turning toward an efficient method of capturing rainwater called rainwater harvesting. The drought is killing plants, vegetables, and lawns.

Many people are trying to save what they have left their landscape by storing old rainwater. The gutters systems on homes play a large role catching the rainwater that falls on roofs, if contained correctly that water will feed into the storage tanks. One organic gardener has the luxury of watering his backyard lawn, and he does it with stored water.

“We want to do that,” said Vincent Murphy, an organic gardener in Wichita Falls. “We might have to give that up sometime but now we’re doing it.”  

The Murphy's have seven water tanks around their home. They have an advanced set up that keeps his garden growing and water flowing.

"It has been one of our best years for the garden, the carrots, lettuce, and all that," Murphy said.

His deep gutters capture any and all rainwater. His tanks range in collection from holding 75 gallons of water to 300 gallons. Boyd Travis is the craftsman behind the advanced set up and he says the process makes the most from even the smallest rain amounts.

 “We've really tried to seal off those points of entry, just to utilize the water in an extremely efficient manner,” Travis said. 

The seals on the tanks also keep the mosquitoes out of the water. The filtration system for the Murphy’s harvesting separates the sediment from the water. After the filtration the water is of very high quality, according to Murphy.

"I think it improved the quality of the vegetables," said Murphy.

For 1,000 square feet of usable roofing you can catch more than 600 gallons of water, per inch of rain. When it’s not raining Murphy uses a tank connected to his air conditioning unit. That tank gives about 80 to 90 gallons of water per week. Even though there hasn’t been a lot of rain, Murphy said all of his tanks have filled up a couple times since February. 

Murphy said his system should last him 20 years. Murphy is using one type of harvesting, but there are many different tanks and processes you can use. Gail Elmore from Burkburnett is a member of the Wichita County Master Gardeners. She also uses rainwater harvesting to collect that water for her plants. 

She is replacing her gutters to get maximum benefits from the water. She said she has many old trees and plants she is hoping to save. She has three tanks that hold 275 gallons of water, but she plans on adding two new water tanks. Those tanks will hold 530 gallons of water.

”It doesn't rain very often, but if it rains and when it rains you can collect that water that would just run down the gutter,” said Elmore. 

There may be a possibility of bringing rainwater harvesting to the city, officials from the Wichita County Agriculture Extension office said there have been talks with various city members. For more information you can attend a neighborhood appreciation day in Burkburnett. The event is Saturday, July 19 at the Tractor Supply. 

The event is about water practices, rainwater harvesting, and information on how and when to water. For more information you can contact wichitamga@gmail.com

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6