While a typical San Diego rainstorm drops about 0.6” of rain, most of this water runs off into our storm drains, creeks and watersheds which can be overloaded and cause the damage and flooding that we are all familiar with.

One of the best things you can do is to slow the flow and take advantage of whatever rain we get during these events. Here are some quick projects that you can do to protect your home, save water and make sure that rainwater is put to its maximum use.

How to Harvest Rainwater

Aerate compacted soils
Aeration helps loosen up the soil so that more oxygen and water can move into the soil. This increases the amount of water that can be absorbed by the landscape rather than puddling or running off.

Clean out your rain gutters and filters
Clearing the gutters of debris will ensure that rainwater will be diverted to the basins, tanks, and the drains that it was intended to go in. Also, clogged gutters can cause damage to your rain gutters or flooding to your home.

Protect home and utility lines from vegetation
Late fall is a good time to trim and prune back plants because plants have slowed their growth from the diminishing sunlight. Trim back any vegetation that could cause damage if it were to fall or break during a storm.

Mulch exposed soil
Mulching helps protect the soil from being directly struck by raindrops which would cause erosion. Mulch areas 3” -4” deep and keep mulch 4” – 5” away from the trunks of any trees or shrubs. This layer of mulch will also help choke out weeds and reduce water evaporation in the soil throughout the year.

Rain Barrel

Get a Rebate on Rain Barrels
Rebates are available for Rain Barrels (50 gallons) and Cisterns (over 200 gallons) that store rainwater for a later use. Visit http://www.socalwatersmart.com/ for more info!

Install a rain catchment basin
We offer classes on sustainable landscapes that slow the flow and maximize the use of rain. If you can’t attend one of our classes please check out the videos on demand series to learn about these functional water saving landscapes.

Rain Garden