Level 1 Project Plan

Simple (Passive) Rainwater Harvesting Systems:
Collection – roof, patio, sidewalks
Distribution System – gutters and downspouts, channels, ditches, swales
Landscape Holding Area – concave depressions, the addition of berms, moats, or soil terracing

View example of a Level 1 project plan.

Step #1.  Site Plan:

  • Draw site to scale and include dimensions.
  • Show direction of water flow off roof tops and landscapes with arrows.
  • Where are the high points/ridge lines? (Indicate with a + sign.)
  • Where are the low points/outlets? (Indicate with a - sign.)
  • Determine catchments.
  • Identify areas that require irrigation.
  • Label surface areas of hardscapes and landscapes, identified rainwater practice(s), and associated potential storage volume.

Step #2.  Site Analysis:

  • Assess site conditions to determine rainwater harvesting goals.
  • If harvesting rainwater from a roof, extend gutter/downspouts to reach planted areas or provide a path.
  • Take advantage of hardscapes to catch water and redistribute to planted areas.
  • Soil can also serve as a catchment by grading the surface to increase and direct runoff.
  • Strive for zero runoff with no rain or irrigation water allowed to run off your property.

Step #3.  Design Landscape Holding Areas:

  • How can we slow the flow of water?
  • Locate and size landscape holding areas.
  • Locate landscape depressions that can hold water.
  • Create new depressions where you want to locate plants.
  • Construct berms or moats.
  • Connect several holding areas with spillways or channels to distribute water throughout the site.

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