Water Collection

Getting started

The following information will help you be successful with active and passive water collection systems:

Active Systems

  • View video from Leaky Cisterns

  • WikiHow guide on rainwater harvesting

  • Put together a Site Drawing: show locations of buildings, streets, existing/proposed tank(s), water meter, and piping from the tank to the landscaped areas.

  • Identify the size of the catchment area (usually the roof) and the area you will water with rainwater.

  • Put together a System Drawing: include sketch plans for the system, include piping, first-flush diversion system, pump location (if applicable), tank material, dimensions, placement, pad materials (must be gravel, sand, or concrete) and construction materials

Passive Systems

Follow the six easy steps in the Austin GrowGreen guide to build a rain garden:

  • Find the right location

  • Test your soil

  • Calculate the size and shape of your garden

  • Rain garden construction

  • Plant selection and installation

  • Maintenance (see the Water Collection Maintenance section for more!)

The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department will provide an interpretive sign for Austin school campuses that install and register a campus rain garden. Email them to request a sign.