Texas Hill Country Rainwater Harvesting

People often ask about the ROI, the Return of Investment for rainwater systems. The benefits of having a rainwater system extend beyond saving money on water in terms of ROI. Barry has completed over 750 rainwater systems with around 80% of them being for drinking water as well as a domestic water source. Learn more about Rainwater Systems, Inc.

Barry Wall, Owner of Rainwater Systems, Inc.

Before installing a rainwater system, people have to use more dish and clothing detergents than after they are using rainwater. Rainwater is cleaner than utility water and doesn’t contain chemicals like chlorine, used for sanitization, which spreads the soap more than with tap water. This extends the life of your appliances like dishwashers, water heaters, etc. Cleaning your car or truck with rainwater leaves a spotless finish since it doesn’t contain elements that tap water can have. Coming from a medical background, Barry likes to promote the health benefits of drinking rainwater. There isn’t any sodium in rainwater.

Sanitron Uv Filter System

Sanitron UV Filtration System

Rainwater is easier to turn into clean potable drinking water than to allow a city to process the water and have them sanitize it with chemicals. All that a residential rainwater system will use are UV filters and UV light to process clean water. Rainwater can fill a room and be frozen solid, and you would be able to see clearly from one end to the other since it is so pure. Rainwater systems also have a much smaller distance from storage to use, with an average of 30 feet for distribution.

Complete rainwater harvesting system Pioneer Water Tanks

Complete rainwater harvesting system

The cost of a rainwater system breaks down to be a lot more cost-effective than to buy water. For every gallon of water that comes from a utility water source, $8 is approximately spent. A gallon produced from a rainwater system typically breaks down to $1 to $2

Rainwater Systems, Inc. are ready to provide homes and businesses with rainwater systems designed for low-maintenance and cost-efficiency. Talk with Barry about your water needs and see your options today. See Rainwater Systems, Inc. Online

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    Questions and Answers with Barry Wall, President of Rainwater Systems, Inc.

    Question: How viable is it (rainwater harvesting)?

    Answer: Rainwater systems can be viable, even in arid desert areas like Senora, Texas because it still rains and is more likely to flood in that area for the lack of vegetation. Central Texas has an average annual rainfall of 33 inches. The amount of rain that can be collected depends on the roof size and can be calculated.

    Question: Do you have to worry about the rainwater getting stale in the tank?

    Answer: Rain is being put in and being taken out, always covered from sunlight to prevent bacteria growth. Sunlight creates photosynthesis. Large tanks have a biological function called flocculation, also known as flipping in the tank. Anything that gets into the tank, settles to the bottom and pulls anything else towards it. We see this with lakes during the summer and winter in Texas as lakes naturally clean themselves.

    Question: How large of a tank should a homeowner get?

    Answer: Water tanks run from 5 gallons to up to a million, most backyards can fit about 50,000 gallons but an average two-person house will need only about 20 – 30,000 gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are used by Rainwater Systems Inc with the advantage of the larger the capacity, the more cost-efficient your project becomes. It’s because of this that most people who need 20,000 will buy a 30,000-gallon tank so that they can get 10,000 gallons for just $2,500 more. Once your tank goes above 65,000-gallons, OSHA regulations become involved and the price goes up rapidly. The pipes also store water which can make a 65,000-gallon tank system actually hold around 200,000-gallons from all of the underground piping.

    Some examples of past projects:

    The Kroc Center

    The Kerr County Adult Detention Center

    Commercial rainwater collection systems Texas Rainwater Systems

    The Kerrville Youth Center

    James Avery

    Water storage commercial systems Rainwater Systems Inc

    Question: Are these tanks above ground, below ground?

    Answer: Above ground. Although we can go below ground, the price doubles or triples, especially if you’re hitting any kind of rock. Out of all of the projects that Rainwater Systems Inc have managed, only two of these have been underground. Barry personally doesn’t care for underground water tanks since it raises the chance of contamination, especially during flooding. Underground tanks are more likely to be damaged over time than above ground.

    Residential water system Rainwater Systems Inc

    Residential water system Rainwater Systems Inc

    Question: What are they [water tanks] made of?

    Answer: The Pioneer Water Tanks used are corrugated, hot-dipped Zincalume Steel with a 20-year warranty. Our great-grandchildren will see these tanks. There are systems done over 20 years ago that look just like the day that Barry installed them.

    Question: [What about] asphalt roofs?

    Answer: You don’t see asphalt roofs that much anymore but we always start with pulling a water quality sample to see what we need to do to get the water clean. If you have an asphalt roof, you will need an RO [Reverse Osmosis] system. Regular shingle roofs are fine as long as they aren’t older than 15 years because that is when they took arsenic out.


    Question: We’re about to build a house, is this the right time to start talking about rainwater harvesting?

    Answer: Yes, this way Rainwater Systems Inc can talk with your home builders to set your home up for the system. Gutter installers concentrate on getting the water off of the roof and away from the foundation whereas, we want to set up the gutter system with downspouts to convey into storage for later use. Rainwater Systems Inc works with Sean Heap with Gutterman Raingutter Company who have completed around four miles of gutters.

    how to rainwater harvesting rainwater systems

    Example of a rainwater harvesting gutter system

    Question: Rough cost for a 65,000-gallon home system?

    Answer: For a two-person household, you may only need 20, 30 or 40,000-gallons. For a 25, 30,000-gallon system you’re looking at around $35,000. It’s almost the same cost as drilling a water well in Central Texas right now. The thing about water wells in this area right now is that we are getting a lot of newly drilled properties. A water well permit is just putting another straw into the existing water supply underground and sooner or later, it’s going to dry up. Lake Medina is a great example of this. Two years ago, Rainwater Systems Inc were kept busy installing systems since the water wells were going dry there. It became so bad that their water wells were cratering, falling in on themselves. The same thing is happening in Bergheim, between Bulverde and New Braunfels. Out in that little area, they are losing their water out there.


    Example of a 65,000-Gallon Pioneer Water Tank System

    Question: Are there any problems with Homeowners Associations?

    Answer: HOA’s are typically just flexing their muscles, under the State of Texas and Federal laws, they can’t keep you from doing it. They can bring pressure on placement, or what it looks like but they can’t stop you. Typically Barry will meet with the HOA with a site plan to ask them what their goals are with the overall aesthetic. Once the first one is passed, they are typically trusting moving forward.


    There are tax incentives, rebates as well as other incentives based on your location in Texas for rainwater harvesting. Texas House Bill 3391 (2011) is one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive pieces of legislation regarding rainwater harvesting in recent years.

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