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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Rainwater Harvesting System?

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Key Takeaways

System TypesRainwater harvesting systems vary from simple rain barrels ($200 – $2,500) to intricate underground cistern systems ($6,500 – $24,000+).
Cost FactorsCosts include materials, labor, piping, and additional components like pumps and filtration.
MaintenanceRegular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of the system.
PermitsLocal regulations may require permits for installing certain types of rainwater harvesting systems.
SavingsInstalling a system may result in water savings and possibly reduced utility bills.

$200 – $2,500 Average Rain Barrel Collection System Cost

A rain barrel collection system is a straightforward and cost-effective method for harvesting rainwater. Costs can range from $200 to $2,500 depending on the materials used and the complexity of the installation.

$2,000 – $12,000 Average Cistern Collection System Cost

Cistern systems, which are more complex and have a higher capacity, typically cost between $2,000 and $12,000. These systems can be installed above ground or underground.

Rainwater Harvesting System Cost

Different types of rainwater harvesting systems come with varying price tags. Here is a detailed breakdown:

Rainwater Harvesting System Cost

System TypeAverage Total Installed Cost
Above Ground Rain Barrel System$200 – $2,500
Above Ground Cistern System (Wet)$5,000 – $28,500+
Above Ground Cistern System (Dry)$2,000 – $10,000
Underground Cistern System$6,500 – $24,000+

Rainwater Collection System Cost

Harvesting rainwater can be done using different methods, each with its own cost implications:

Rainwater Collection System Cost

MethodAverage Cost Installed
Rooftop Harvesting System$200 – $28,500
Surface Runoff / Stormwater Harvesting System$8,000 – $30,000+

Cistern Cost

Different types of cisterns come with different installation costs. The table below illustrates these costs:

Cistern Cost

TypeAverage Installed CostDetails
Dry$2,000 – $10,000
  • Water funnels from gutters directly into the cistern top.
  • Cost-effective; less piping involved.
  • Quicker installation.
  • The cistern must be close to the roof.
    | Wet | $5,000 – $28,500+ |
  • Water flows from the downspouts through underground piping and back up into cistern installed away from the roof.
  • More expensive due to the added digging and piping needed.
  • Higher mosquito potential due to standing water in pipes.
  • Pipes require occasional draining to remove old water.
    | Underground | $6,500 – $24,000+ |
  • Water flows to a buried storage tank, saving space on the property.
  • Tank protected from damage and extreme temperatures.
  • Requires excavation and additional piping.
  • Not suitable for every soil type.

Cistern Rainwater Tank Costs

Material choice for cistern tanks can also impact the overall cost:

Cistern Rainwater Tank Prices by Material

Tank MaterialAverage Price*Capacity Options (Gallons)
Concrete Tank$1,100 – $6,800600 – 10,000+
Fiberglass Tank$5,000 – $9,000300 – 20,000+
Polyethylene Tank$800 – $6,000250 – 10,000+
Steel Tank$2,000 – $12,000233 – 70,000+

Rain Barrel Cost

Rain barrels are typically more affordable and come in various materials, each affecting the cost:

Rain Barrel Prices by Material

MaterialAverage Price*Size (Gallons)
Oak$150 – $30050 – 60
Polyethylene$100 – $50050 – 200
Recycled Plastic$80 – $12050 – 200
Steel / Metal$500 – $1,70090 – 200

Rainwater Catchment or Collection System Cost Breakdown

The total cost of a rainwater collection system includes several components:

Rainwater Collection System Cost Breakdown

FactorAverage Cost
Harvesting System & Materials$100 – $15,500
Installation Labor$200 – $2,400
Piping Installation$1,200 – $8,000
Excavation*$1,000 – $5,000
Trenching*$500 – $1,200
Lawn Regrading*$500 – $5,000

Rainwater Collection System Components Prices

Components required for a rainwater collection system also add to the total cost:

ComponentAverage Price
Collection Surface (Roof)$5,700 – $16,000*
Conveyance System (Gutters/Downspouts/Piping)$750 – $2,300*
Pre-Storage Filtration$30 – $300
Post-Storage Filtration & Disinfection$350 – $2,400
Pump (Optional)$100 – $800
Water Storage Tank$80 – $12,000

Rainwater Harvesting System Installation Costs

Installation costs can vary based on several factors:

FactorAverage Installed Cost
Gutters$750 – $2,300
Pump (Per Pump)$150 – $1,200
Water Pipes$100 – $8,000

Rainwater Recycling System Maintenance Costs

Regular maintenance is vital for the smooth operation of a rainwater harvesting system. Costs may vary depending on the system type and particular needs.

Rainwater System FAQs

Do I Need a Permit or Approval to Install a Rainwater Collection System?

Yes, in many areas, installing a rainwater collection system requires a permit. It’s crucial to check local regulations to ensure compliance.

Is a Cistern or a Barrel Better for Rainwater Collection?

Here is a comparison of the pros and cons of cisterns and barrels:

  • More water storage
  • Can be installed underground or above ground, close to or away from the house
  • Potentially replaces potable water use for landscaping |
  • Expensive initial investment
  • Larger footprint
  • Requires structural support if over 5,000 gallons
  • Requires professional installation |
    | Barrel |
  • Cheaper than a cistern
  • Smaller footprint
  • DIY-friendly |
  • Holds less water
  • Above ground only
  • Must be close to the house |

Can A Rainwater Collection System Save Me Money?

Yes, by reducing the amount of potable water used for irrigation and other non-potable purposes, a rainwater collection system can lead to savings on water bills.

Getting Quotes from Rainwater Harvesting System Installers

When planning to install a rainwater harvesting system, it’s essential to get quotes from several installers to ensure competitive pricing and service quality.

Questions to Ask

Before hiring an installer, consider asking the following questions:

  1. What is your experience with installing rainwater harvesting systems?
  2. Can you provide references from previous customers?
  3. What permits and approvals are required for installation in my area?
  4. What maintenance will the system require?
  5. Are there any additional costs I should be aware of?

By carefully considering these factors and gathering comprehensive information, you can make an informed decision on the best rainwater harvesting system for your needs.

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