Install a Cistern or Rain Barrel
Cisterns and rain barrels can collect and store rainwater from rooftops to be used for irrigation. This reduces stormwater runoff – and lowers your water bill, too!
Note that if you live in a climate with a dry and a rainy season (such as the Los Angeles region), there are contamination problems associated with the first rain of the year when pollutants have accumulated over many months. If you are going to install a cistern and plan to direct roof water to it, you'll need a first-flush diverter to keep pollutants and animal waste out of the stored water.
- Read about a cistern system that TreePeople installed at the Hall House, one of our demonstration sites.
- See H2ouse's basic installation tips for cisterns and rain barrels.
- The Rainbarrel Guide is a comprehensive website on rain barrels with an extensive list of links that includes vendors.
- Clean Air Gardening’s website has information on and sells various sizes of rain barrels.
- Norwesco Inc’s website has information on and sells various above and below-ground water tanks/cisterns.
- Aqua-Flo has store locations in Southern California.
- If you are a City of Los Angeles resident, you may be qualified to receive a free rain barrel from the Bureau of Sanitation, Stormwater Program
- Learn how to build a rainbarrel.
Additionally, searching the Internet with the key words “water tanks” will provide more avenues for you to consider.
Is this practice right for you?
Consult a professional if you're not sure. Also, see our web pages discussing maintenance issues, costs and other factors.