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Rainwater Catchment J Gnarly

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology page in progress
This page is a project in progress by students in Engr305 Appropriate Technology. Please do not make edits unless you are a member of the team working on this page, but feel free to make comments on the discussion page. Check back for the finished version on May 15, 2013.


A rainwater catchment system will be built on a house in Blue Lake California. The rainwater will be carried from the gutters to storage tanks for use in flushing the indoor toilet. Kyle Basnett and Colin Bourgeois are working on this project as part of the Humboldt State University's Engineering 305 course, in Appropriate Technology.

Project Goals

  1. Utilize maximum efficient level of rainwater to preserve filtered clean water
  2. Redirect water flow from as many locations as possible for utilization
  3. Install as many gutter systems as money and efficiency allow
  4. Design a system in a way to easily operate and maintain
  5. Design to prevent water damage if system fails

Literature Review *IN PROGRESS* by Kyle Basnett

This is my review on the available literature relevant, and on hand, for our rain water catchment project.

Basics on Rain Water Catchment

One of the biggest current and future economic problems that our world is facing is a shortage of drinkable water. Having clean water is vital to the health and survival of our race. A big portion of waste in regards to water useage is in the home. A huge portion of our drinkable water is literally flushed down the toilet. We are going to cut down on our use of clean water by utilizing the natural energy source that the cycle of life provides us with, rain. we will be collecting rainwater in a system that we will design and build, and transfer that water to a houses plumbing to be used to flush the toilet. Though many people are becoming more conservative in regards to using the bathroom and avoiding water waste, many people are still using much more than necessary. For the people who cannot use outdoor, eco-friendly toilets, we will do our small part to help in conservation of the increasingly limited supply of drinkable water.

Potential design difficulties

At our current level of understanding on the project our primary concern is to safely secure the storage devices in a manner that is easy to clean, understand, and that will be effective for our system. We are also aware that a more specialized and appropriate understanding is necessary for our success.

Methods of rain water harvest

Rainwater can be captured (harvested)in many ways. The most commonly used method is by roof. All kinds of roof systems can be used for capture, but roofs with a pitch are much more efficient than flat roofs. The steeper the pitch the higher the efficiency. Gravity rules. Any slope can be used to capture rainwater though in vastly different levels of cleanliness, efficiency, and setup and maintenance difficulties. for areas without a natural slope, or a roof, many varieties of structures can be built for rain capture.

Designing interpretive materials

The materials that our project will be using are similar to those of other rain water catchment systems. We will be utilizing a sloped roof, with a gutter drainage system, that will transfer the gathered rainwater down the conveyance into a first flush cycle, that we will create. This will then fill our large 50 gallon storage drums, which will store the water for later use.



Details in process.


Yet to be determined.


  • Looking for cheap, hopefully eco-friendly supplies.
    • Currently in planning stage.


In progress...


Contact details