Rainwater & Reuse
In addition to efficient watering practices, watering your home's landscape with rainwater or reused water can help relieve the strain on the local municipal water supply. However, rainwater and greywater reuse should not be used as a replacement for water-efficient landscaping and irrigation practices. Be mindful that the first steps to water-efficiency outdoors should be a drought tolerant, low water use landscape and wise watering.
Rain barrels or cisterns can be used to collect rainwater for irrigation and other outdoor water uses. Commercial rooftop collection systems are available, but simply diverting your downspout into a covered barrel is an easy, low-cost approach. Some states might have laws that prohibit collection of rainwater, so be sure to check with your state's water resource agency before implementing a rainwater collection system.
- For more on rainwater collection, visit EPA's Green Infrastructure Web page: Rain Harvesting.
Household wastewater from bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs, and clothes washers, or "greywater," can be reused for landscape irrigation. "Greywater" reuse systems divert used water to a storage tank for later outdoor watering use. State and local greywater laws and policies vary, so you should investigate to determine if restrictions apply in your area.
- See EPA's Region 9 Web page on Water Recycling and Reuse for more information on the uses and benefits of recycled water.