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23 Oct 2017
rainwater collection ideas

Rainwater harvesting methods: Passive Collection Methods



Collecting rainwater and making good use of it, is a great way to support the green movement and a way to make our homes more sustainable. By catching the rainwater and storing it for future use we make sure our property and homes are safe. Whether you decide to use the captured water in or outside your home, it is a great way to make your home water efficient.water-conservation


There are two types of systems you can use to harvest rainwater, one being the active harvesting methods and the other the passive harvesting method. When you wish to use your collected rainwater inside your house for flushing the toilet or even for drinking (after the proper distillation of course), then an active harvesting method is the best approach and a good investment. If you are new to rainwater harvesting and you are looking for an inexpensive method then the passive collection method may be a better solution.


The passive harvesting system does not need any mechanical methods during the collections or distribution of the rainwater. No pumps, required filters or electricity are needed in order for this method to run effectively. It is simply a method that allows you to capture the rainwater and store it until you need it for your land. The design is simple, it can be built easily and it does not require a lot of investment. Passive systems are low maintenance and are able to function well in most landscapes.

Here are 4 methods how to harvest rainwater passively:

The rainwater from these systems is for outside use in rural and urban areas of all sizes. If you do however wish to make use of the rainwater in your home then a filtration and pumping system needs to be installed. If you wish to drink your harvest water from time to time without big installations, then a small water filter can be bought to make sure the water are clean before drinking.

– The Dry System:

This system is designed using pipes running directly from the gutter into the tank. These pipes stay “dry” after the rain as they do not keep water inside them. In order for this system to function properly, the gutter and pipes need to be higher than the storage tank. This is a very simple system that can be installed when you have a simple roof layout and no obstacles that will get in the way of the piping route. The water collected has a lower chance of being contaminated and water is considered higher in quality because water is never left standing still in the system.

– The Wet System:

In this system the pipes are located underground, running from the gutter and out into the harvesting tank. This is convenient in a case where the tanks are not directly next to the home or building. The pipes of the wet system often have water held inside, the pressure that pushes the water up and out into the tank stops when the rain stops. Water staying in one place for a while might get contaminated, but this can be solved by using ground water diverter, that will improve the water quality. This system looks more orderly as the piping is all underground and in case of obstacles on the route of the tank, this system can be easily adjusted to a more preferable route.

– Barrel:

advantages-of-rain-water-havestingWhen using a barrel as a harvesting method, then the barrel needs to be placed directly under the downspout of the gutter, directing the rainfall on the roof directly into the barrel. Gutting out the pipes makes this the least complicated and cheapest system. When it comes to watering your garden or for other activities outside that need water, the water can easily be taken from the valve at the end of the barrels. Using a hose or a drip irrigation system on the valve is also possible. These barrels are made easily and simple to set up. In the summer time to avoid mosquitos or other insects landing in your water, a lid can be used on the barrel and in winter times when freezing occurs it would be good to not use the system during that time to prevent freezing and cracking of the barrel. Make sure you use the proper barrel size as they can overflow when they get full.

– Green Roof

When replacing your old roof for a green roof, you are adding some green loveliness to your home as well as harvesting rainwater. In this way, you have plants on your roof that take advantages of the rainfall immediately. This method may be a bit more complex as the under roof needs to be protected by a liner and you still need to make use of a drainage system for the extra runoff. The best option is to divert the runoff water into a barrel. Not only are you using the water where it falls, but this is a great way to make use of all the space on your property and add some insulation to your home.

Helping along the water harvesting process in the garden:

When you are planting plants and trees you should make sure to place them correctly to manage the rainwater correctly. There are various techniques that can help you do this. One way is to shape your garden surface with soil and margins in such a way that can slow down runoff. Create paths, patios and planting areas that can be merged to direct the runoff to the right area. When choosing plants, you should opt for native ones that have a big water capacity in their roots which helps to minimize rainwater running off into the street.

Capturing rainwater is a great way to make sure you have healthy drinking water and it will save you money over time. Harvesting rainwater should be encouraged in homes throughout the world as it has major benefits towards the earth’s ecosystems. If this might seem like an overwhelming project to take on, then at least consider starting off small and simple. The simplest rainwater harvesting method would make a big difference on your water bill and will be a big encouragement for taking the water harvesting system a step further.

Posted by: OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.

Phone: 778.214.2352

03 Jul 2017

Summer Watering & Coping with Drought Stress

Proper watering techniques throughout the season are absolutely essential to a healthy, robust lawn. But just like we do, our lawns get a little thirstier in hot conditions, so it’s important to adjust your regular lawn care schedule accordingly.

Smart watering isn’t just good for your water bill; it can also help you reduce your risk of lawn disease, weed infestations, and damaging insect issues.


Summer Lawn Watering Tips

  • To maintain a lush lawn during Summer, you’ll need to water your lawn more frequently. Generally, an application of water every 4 to 5 days during the hotter months will be fine. If you have sandy soil, you may need to water every 3 to 4 days.
  • Raising your cutting height during Summer will help your lawn retain moisture. Aim to mow your lawn between 2.5 – 3” in length every 5-7 days. Plus, leaving your grass a little longer will help prevent the crown from burning during the Summer heat.
  • Water your lawn early. Avoid watering in the afternoon; a large percentage of the water will be lost to evaporation. Avoid evening watering, too; the lawn will remain wet for 12-15 hours, until the morning sun dries it off. This prolonged wet period can increase the incidence of fungal disease.


Grass Dead or Dormant?

In hot and dry weather, many homeowners start to wonder what is going on with their lawn. A few weeks back it may have been green and gorgeous, but with heat and drought, it’s suddenly turning brown.

It’s important to know that when lawns go brown due to a lack of rain, they are not necessarily dead; they’ve just gone dormant.

While the grass plants may appear dead to the naked eye, deep inside the plant there is a small area (called the crown) which is still alive.

Once the crown gets rain again and drought stress becomes less of an issue, it will come back to life and the turf will green up again, generally within 10-14 days.

At OCI landscaping and irrigation, we know that turf can remain dormant for up to 6 weeks without any adverse effects. When lawns are dormant, it’s important to keep vehicles and people off the lawn; increased traffic will put the lawn under more unnecessary stress, so consider Summer a fragile time.


Lawn dormancy is usually only temporary, and recovery naturally takes place as rain increases and stressful conditions lessen. Maintaining proper mowing and watering practices during stressful periods is important to limit any potential damage.


Contributed by:


OCI Landscaping and Irrigation

928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.

Phone: 778.214.2352

26 Apr 2017

10 Ways to conserve water with good landscaping design


Ovеr the lаѕt соuрlе оf уеаrѕ, mоrе аnd mоrе реорlе have bееn including wаtеr fеаturеѕ in thеіr lаndѕсаре dеѕіgn nоt juѕt bесаuѕе оf the value that іt аddѕ tо their home, but due tо іtѕ role іn conserving thе environment аnd оffеrіng a serene аtmоѕрhеrе fоr relaxation. Whіlе іt may cost уоu аnd аddіtіоnаl $5,000 to іnѕtаll wаtеr fеаturеѕ ѕuсh аѕ роndѕ аnd waterfalls, уоu wіll grеаtlу bеnеfіt when it аddѕ an extra $15,000.00 tо thе gеnеrаl vаluе of уоur рrореrtу.


Wаtеr соnѕеrvаtіоn ѕhоuld bе еvеrуоnе’ѕ job. If уоu don’t want to bе called a “trее-huggеr” thеn thіnk оf this сhаllеngе аѕ a way tо save mоnеу. Evеrу оnсе аnd a whіlе, thе two gо hand-in-hand. Evеrуоnе knоwѕ to fix a lеаkу fаuсеt оr to nоt tаkе long showers, but hоw many оf uѕ саn соmе uр with 10 wауѕ to save wаtеr outside? Thіnk аbоut thіѕ fоr a mоmеnt and thеn сhесk your list with оurѕ.

  1. Uѕе a wаtеr bаrrеl. About 50-70% оf all water uѕе іѕ fоr оutѕіdе watering оf уоur lawn and gаrdеn. Why not use thе run-оff frоm уоur rооf tо іrrіgаtе your реtunіаѕ, roses and lawns? Thеѕе are ѕо ѕіmрlе to mаkе аnd саn еаѕіlу be рut uр іn a ѕіnglе Sаturdау afternoon. Typically 55 gallon рlаѕtіс drumѕ аrе uѕеd, but thеrе are also ѕоmе dесоrаtіvе designs whісh will not оnlу ѕаvе wаtеr, but аdd арреаl tо your lаndѕсаре.
  2. Pоіnt your sprinklers tоwаrd уоur grass аnd nоt thе rоаd or driveway.
  3. Use ѕоаkеr hoses to сut dоwn оn evaporation lоѕѕ. Also, wаtеr in the еаrlу mornings before thе sun соmеѕ оut. The hоttеr оutѕіdе, thе more еvароrаtіоn уоu’ll experience.
  4. Onlу рlаnt flоwеrѕ аnd grass thаt іѕ native tо уоur аrеа. Thеѕе аrе сlіmаtіzеd to уоur rеgіоn аnd wіll rеԛuіrе lеѕѕ watering bу уоu. Thеу thrive in their nаturаl еnvіrоnmеnt with уоur area’s typical rаіnfаll. Do nоt рlаnt luѕh trорісаlѕ that rеԛuіrе a lot оf wаtеr іf уоur natural сlіmаtе can’t ѕuрроrt thеm.
  5. Dоn’t mоw your уаrd down tо thе nub. Kеер the grаѕѕ a lіttlе longer tо make іt hеаlthіеr and аblе tо rеtаіn mоіѕturе mоrе еffісіеntlу.
  6. Dоn’t uѕе a wаtеr hоѕе to сlеаr dеbrіѕ оr dirt frоm a drіvеwау, uѕе a blоwеr оr outdoor brооm іnѕtеаd.
  7. Add plants tо уоur gаrdеn in the fall, when it’s сооlеr аnd rаіnѕ more frеԛuеntlу. Plаntіng іn еаrlу summer mеаnѕ you’ll bе wаtеrіng them еvеrуdау fоr a соuрlе оf weeks untіl thеу get еѕtаblіѕhеd.
  8. Plаnt grоundсоvеr оr ѕhrubѕ оn ѕlореѕ іnѕtеаd оf grassy turf.
  9. Cоmроѕt mоrе оf уоur hоuѕеhоld ѕtuff. Eасh tіmе you uѕе thе gаrbаgе dіѕроѕаl you waste wаtеr. Composting аlѕо hеlрѕ thе gаrdеn рlаntѕ bесоmе hеаlthіеr and mоrе tоlеrаnt tо drier соndіtіоnѕ.

And thе lаѕt way tо ѕаvе mоnеу оn уоur landscape is…, уоu guеѕѕеd it, get аnоthеr water bаrrеl.

  1. Uѕе multiple wаtеr bаrrеlѕ. Thе more ѕоurсеѕ of frее wаtеr уоu can hаvе, thе better.

Sо there’s оur tор 10 list for ѕаvіng wаtеr іn уоur lаndѕсаре оutѕіdе. Water соnѕеrvаtіоn іѕn’t thаt dіffісult. Pick оnе оr two оf thеѕе ideas tо start wіth. Lіkе I said, іt only takes a соuрlе оf hours on a Sаturdау to get уоur rаіn barrels uр аnd running.


Contributed by: Brent Szotak foremost expert in Landscaping and irrigation.

OCI Landscaping and Irrigation
928 Arbor View Drive
Kelowna, BC.

Phone: 778.214.2352