Flushing potatoes at the Sweetwater 420 Festival 2009 in Atlanta

created by Creative Artists, Monroe, GA

Is a rainwater collecting system a good investment?

I  have permission to share an interesting article, written by Bob Drew, owner of ECOVIE Rainwater Collection Systems

Well, we’ve had 3 straight months of above average rainfall.  If June is also above normal, the drought will be declared over and the watering ban may be lifted.  But, we are now moving into the drier months and it is possible we will remain under watering restrictions.   Even so, one may wonder what normal Atlanta rainfall conditions mean with regard to the benefits of a rainwater collection system.  Rainwater collection systems in the form of multi-thousand gallon tanks and cisterns are popping up all over metro Atlanta in response to the lower than average rainfall and low Lake Lanier levels the last 3 years.  Are these systems still a good investment if there are no watering restrictions and rainfall is normal?  The answer is yes.  In fact, some of the reasons for having a rainwater collection system for your home actually become more important when it rains more.  Consider that:

  1.  With no watering ban, we can once again water turf and gardens with our automatic irrigation systems.  Feeding these systems with city water can cost hundreds of dollars per month.  Feeding your irrigation with rainwater is nearly free and will definitely save you money.
  2. Even under normal rainfall conditions, we will likely experience several periods of more than 10 days without appreciable rain this summer.  A rainwater collection system bridges across these periods to keep your lawn and garden lush and vibrant.   Even though rain itself nourishes our lawns and gardens, we will still need to water to keep plants at their optimal best.
  3. When it rains a lot, rainwater collection systems prevent heavy erosion and storm water runoff problems.  By collecting water and using it later, soils can better soak up water and replenish the ground water supply.  For those who think drilling a well is the answer, keep in mind that irrigating with well water has a net negative effect on ground water supply.
  4. The possibility of using rainwater year around for indoor uses such as laundering and toilet flushing becomes much more attractive the more it rains.  With additional filtration and UV disinfection, the Georgia Plumbing Code allows use of rainwater indoors for non-potable uses.  The typical family of four uses around 50,000 gallons per year for these uses, so the cost savings and other benefits can be substantial. 

And whether there’s a drought or not, collecting rainwater is a smart choice to help alleviate Atlanta’s ongoing water supply challenges.  This may be as good a time as ever to consider rainwater collection to protect your landscape investment use less city water.

Toilet Rebate Programs in the US

More and more cities and municipalities are offering a rebate for the replacement of old, inefficient toilets with Low Flow or High Efficiency Toilets (HET) using 1.6 gallons or less per flush. I compiled this list to make it easier for you to find out if your city, county or water authority is participating in a rebate program. Please note that links to most authorities are included. I will try to keep adding more as they become available. If you know about programs I have not listed, please comment so I can add them.











New Mexico


North Carolina


 South Dakota





San Antonio Water System gives away 20,000 free Caroma Dual Flush toilets

Perhaps the City of Atlanta should consider this. San Antonio has implemented an incredible program, resulting in tremendous water savings PLUS lots of business for plumbers. Read full article here