Master Gardeners of Nacogdoches County tout 'rainwater harvesti - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Master Gardeners of Nacogdoches County tout 'rainwater harvesting systems'

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NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Last week's daily rains will probably be the best advertising there is for a movement Texas A&M Agrilife is promoting.

Water resource experts are encouraging Texans to utilize "rainwater harvesting systems."

East Texas News found some pretty smart gardeners in Nacogdoches who are reaping the rewards of all that rain.

 

All last week, and every other time it rains, we watch the rainwater fall from gutters, trickle down sidewalks and flow across city streets.

 

Then when the rain stops, sometimes for long periods of time, we start griping about high water bills.

Well, it doesn't have to be that way.

Last week, the Master Gardeners of Nacogdoches County are busy pulling weeds at their demonstration garden, a place on Main Street filled with colorful blooms. The certified gardeners have access to city water, but they prefer using a rainwater harvesting system.

Your grandmother or great grandmother probably used an old rain barrel for her rainwater harvesting. It's pretty much the same concept, but this is a little bit more elaborate.

"Off this small roof here, it collects a lot of water," said Tom Lostracco, the president of the Master Gardeners of Nacogdoches County. "And the rains that we've had in the last few days, needless to say, these tanks were probably filled within the first day or two."

A Texas A&M water specialist said one inch of rainwater dripping from a 1,500-square-foot-roof can easily catch 600 gallons of water.

"Basically, probably these two tanks right here are holding about 2,700 gallons," Lostracco said.

Small scale rainwater catchment systems can be as simple as using a 50-gallon drum. "They could maybe put just a 5-foot gutter at one end of the house on a slope and pipe it over to a tank and they would have sufficient enough water whenever it would rain."

Master gardeners said the effective water conservation tool provides the best moisture for plants.

"You know natural rainwater versus water with chlorination in it, I think, definitely is better for the plants and certainly making good use our water," said Betty Hignite, a master gardener.

So next time don't just watch the rain, gather it up for a dry day.

You can find lots of information on how to construct a "rainwater harvesting system" on the Texas A&M Website or by stopping by your local Agrilife office.

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