April 22 was Earth Day and NTMWD once again came together with our partners at Texas A&M AgriLife Water University to offer tips on rainwater harvesting.
Earth Day Texas at Fair Park is the world’s largest Earth day event and we were front and center for all the action. One of the exhibits on display is about rainwater harvesting, a practice that’s gaining in popularity in our area. NTMWD water expert Denise Hickey and horticulturist Patrick Dickenson kicked off the celebration by stopping by WFAA Channel 8 for our monthly lawn care segment to talk about the pros and cons of rainwater harvesting for lawn and garden irrigation.
Rainwater collection is a practice that has been around for centuries but recently has become more popular due to our recent droughts. One of the many benefits is that the water that we collect in the barrels is free compared to watering our lawns with our municipal drinking water. Not only does this save you money on your summer watering bill, it helps us all to conserve treated water and save it for indoor use like cooking, drinking, and bathing. The best benefit though is that your plants will love the natural water even more.
Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
- Plants thrive on it
- Reduces demand for treated water
Rainwater harvesting, while great for your lawn and garden, does come with a few challenges. One is the misconception that it isn’t legal or allowed in certain neighborhoods. The fact is that rainwater harvesting is legal across the state and nobody, not even your HOA, can tell you that you cannot collect rainwater. The only things an HOA can dictate is location and aesthetics. It’s best to check with your HOA first to be sure that your collection system complies with neighborhood guidelines.
The other challenges include unpredictable rainfall and the maintenance of equipment. You’ll also need to take some steps to protect your water from mosquitoes and algae growth. Texas A&M AgriLife Water University classes will teach you how to get started, help you construct your barrel, and show you how to protect the water you collect.
Denise and Patrick will be back on the air with WFAA Channel 8 on May 20 at 7:30 a.m. with more tips and information on how to maintain a healthy and efficient lawn.