Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
Roof vs. RainSaucers Smackdown (aka Why Standalone RWH?)
by RainSaucers Inc. on April 23rd, 2012

What a day of contrasts! I started the day off with a polite email from a rain barrel veteran in the South who said she didn't see a need for standalone rainwater harvesting because in her area, everyone has roofs and downspouts. Reminds me of when Bill Gates apparently said some years back, "640K is more memory than anyone will ever need." Some people just don't see the future.

Fortunately in the afternoon a sustainable gardener wrote from the Midwest with some nice praise and some great questions which really showed an understanding of our concept. Actually, she sounded like the ideal customer wanting to harvest rainwater for her vegetable garden with the added benefit of having a source of clean water in the event of a disaster.

Her email inspired us to briefly summarize the difference between roof runoff and rainwater collected straight from the sky:
- The RainSaucerâ„¢ has a food safe surface. The roof does not. The roof adds chemicals like zinc and chromated copper arsenate that kill plants and generous amounts of accumulated atmospheric pollution and bird scat. The RainSaucerâ„¢ meanwhile is in arm's reach and can be kept as clean as the user desires through maintenance and storage in the off-season. Furthermore, birds and other animals are not generally attracted to the shiny white material which would not support their weight anyway.
- The RainSaucerâ„¢ takes 10 minutes to set up with no tools required. Accessing a downspout may take as long but almost always involves a hole saw or hacksaw. Many people are not comfortable with this level of tooling, not to mention the permanency of such changes.
- A free standing rain barrel can collect rain anywhere on a user's property. A traditional rain barrel can only be placed near a downspout. In suburban or rural areas, where lots can be quite large, a vegetable garden is not necessarily near the house. Even in urban areas, there is need for an alternative because downspouts are sometimes not accesible (in wrong area or made of tough to cut galvanized steel).

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