Rainwater harvesting: Infiltration features

rainwater harvesting pitsOne category of rainwater harvesting uses Mother Earth as your “storage device.”  You design your landcape, including choices on surface materials and making decisions about the grading (land sculpting), with the goal of making water soak into the ground.

Up until fairly recently, architects were trained to wisk stormwater away from properties as quickly as possible.  Thus rain gutters and downspouts are directed into storm drains, and storm drains go (around here) out to the ocean.  Sidewalks, driveways, and pathways were made of impermeable materials like concrete, asphalt, or mortared brick or stone, and were similarly graded to drain to storm drainsas quickly as possible.  Unless you’ve reworked your property’s drainage within the past 5 years or so (or you had a rather extraordinary architect), this is probably how your property functions.

When we send precious rainwater zipping out to the storm drains, it does us no good in easing the drought.  The water is wasted.