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Rainwater Harvesting for Stormwater Management & Water Conservation

water storage box drainage from roof
Storage tank for rainwater collection project
Piping from rooftop to rainwater collection box.


The Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD) received funding to help install rainwater harvesting systems on four homes, including one home in the York Watershed in Louisa County.  These systems are being used to provide potable water for the households.  As part of the “cost share” agreement, these homeowners agreed to serve as educational resources and to allow the systems to serve as demonstration projects for others interested in similar systems.  Storage tanks on these systems range from 1500 gallons to 3000 gallons and were installed both above and below ground. (The system in Louisa consists of a 1500 gallon, buried concrete tank.)

On average, Virginia receives about 42 inches of rain each year.  That amounts to about 31,500 gallons of water on a 30’ x 40’ roof (an average of over 86 gallons per day), enough water to provide much of the households’ needs. Another significant benefit of recycling rooftop runoff is its contribution to stormwater management.  Each year, as the amount of impervious surface area (roofs, roads, parking areas, etc.) grows, stormwater runoff problems worsen.  The volume and velocity of runoff increases, leading to increased flooding, erosion, and pollutant loads downstream.  Recycling rain from rooftops eliminates one source of stormwater runoff.




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