While El Niño packs its bags and readies itself for a busy season along the Central Coast, it’s an ideal time for local residents to beef up their rain harvesting systems.
We’ve been talking about saving water and reusing it for a while now, but if you haven’t quite tamed your water ways or you’d like a refresher course, the University of California Master Gardeners are putting on an Advice to Grow By Workshop that is right up your rainspout.
Catchment systems come in many shapes and sizes, but all use naturally impermeable surfaces such as rooftops to collect rainwater. The water is directed into a container and then stored for later use. Amazingly, the average 1000-square-foot roof can potentially collect 600 gallons of water per inch of rain. Even small catchment systems are beneficial in a multitude of ways. The advantage of rain catchment does not stop at water savings — harvesting those welcome drops reduces runoff, erosion and the spread of pollutants while using a readily available resource.
Rain catchment systems range in complexity from a bucket placed under “that drippy spot” to cisterns with pumps and filtration that require extensive management. The workshop will discuss the various types of catchment surfaces, such as rooftops, along with distribution methods, such as downspouts and gutters. Storage tanks, size, material, expense and placement will be addressed.
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The presenters will tackle the “how” of getting your water to your landscape and discuss the finer points of water harvesting including purification, filtration, roof washers, and leaf screens. The group will focus on methods that promote easy upkeep, maintenance, health and safety. Information regarding “water catchment rebates” will be available.
Bring sunscreen, a comfortable chair, water and a hat. Who knows, maybe an umbrella, rubber boots and a kayak will be necessary. The workshop takes place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo.
Andrea Peck is a UCCE Master Gardener.
Got a gardening question?
In San Luis Obispo call 781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 473-7190 and Templeton, 434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 781-5939.