Different Types of Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Installing rainwater harvesting systems can help serve various purposes, domestic and commercial, depending on a person’s need. With enough water collected, these systems would help reduce the dependent rate and aid irrigation during periods of low rainfall. Also, water systems are essential in cutting water bills used for various non-drinking purposes.

Despite the several advantages of rainwater harvesting, most individuals have struggled to find the right rain harvesting system that would best suit their needs. But no worries, because this article explains some of the most effective options for harvesting rainwater.

What Is Rainwater Harvesting?

This is a technology or a technique used to collect and store rainwater for later use instead of allowing the rain to run off. The water collected can either be stored in the water tank or be directed to recharge groundwater. 


Types of Rainwater Harvesting Systems:

Water Butts

This is the most simple and easy method of harvesting rainwater. It entails collecting water into small containers or tanks directly from the drain pipes or natural rainfall.  The water collected with this method is primarily used for gardening functions. 

Direct Pumped

This is a widespread and professional domestic water harvesting technique that pumps the harvested water from the storage point/tanks to the point of use. There are two categories for this;

  • Direct-pumped submersible
  • Direct-pumped suction

A direct-pumped submersible is more straightforward to install a rainwater harvesting system for domestic properties. Here, a pump is placed inside the underground water tank. Water is then pumped directly to WCs, among other household appliances.

But, with a direct-pumped suction system, the pump is not dipped within the tank; instead, its located within a control unit. Even better, this unit where suction is placed also manages the backup from the mains water supply. And that eliminates the need to send the mains water to the underground tank.

Indirect Gravity Systems

With this technique, water movement entirely depends on gravity. In other words, indirect pumped only use gravity alone to supply water to other outlets. Here, the pump is only used to move water to a header tank or refill the high-level tank, then the supply to the outside outlets becomes the role of gravity. 

Indirect Pumped Systems

This is the opposite of the gravity systems. It does not depend on gravity while supplying water to the outlets. Instead, it uses boosted pumps to move the harvested water to a preferred point. The best part is that the booster pumps used can be tailored to match the needs and requirements of a building.

Gravity Only Systems

Though very rare, it can be possible to have water harvesting systems that wholly depend on gravity. Such arrangements use no pumps; thus, no energy or effort is needed. The major disadvantage of this method is that water can only be collected if the collections tanks are placed below the level of the gutters. Meaning, water would only be collected from the part of the roof that has gutters above the collection tanks.


There are numerous advantages of rainwater harvesting, but the method or technique of harvesting water would greatly depend on a person’s needs and space. Just find the right fit! One can choose to use natural pump systems in cases where the header tank would not fit.