There are many reasons we may want to harvest rainwater, be it to supplement our water storage or for use in the garden. Building a rainwater collection system is an excellent idea for preppers to consider
Depending on where you live, the amount of rainwater you could collect may be substantial, meaning that you will need significant storage containers to contain all that rainwater.
Regardless of how you choose to store your rainwater, there may be circumstances in which you would want to conceal the fact that you are harvesting rainwater.
How To Store Rainwater
There are many ways to store rainwater, and regardless of your budget and living situation, you can find an option to build your rainwater collection system.
One popular option is to use store-bought rain barrels, which can be placed beneath the downspouts around your home.
Another option is to use 55 Gallon plastic barrels which can be placed at downspouts like rain barrels or even laid on their side and stacked vertically.
If you plan on storing large quantities of rainwater, large water storage tanks can be fabricated or bought to suit your needs and space. If you want to spend less money, here’s a guide on how to build your own pressurized rainwater harvesting system.
Why Would We Want To Hide Harvested Rainwater?
When it comes to hiding rainwater, there are four reasons why we would want our rainwater storage to be hidden from view.
- It violates local regulations or laws
- To protect from theft
- To conceal the fact that you are a prepper
- Because it is not aesthetically pleasing
Violating Local Laws Or Regulations
I would never condone the violation of any laws or regulations outside an SHTF situation.
However, that being said, many preppers will still harvest rainwater knowing that they are in violation of local or state laws and regulations.
These people will definitely want to conceal these activities from the view of anyone walking by.
It would also be a good idea to hide your barrels or tanks from aerial surveillance as well. Local governments may use drones to check the backyards of people they suspect to be in violation of any rainwater collection laws.
At the time of writing this article, there are no federal laws that restrict or prohibit the collection of rainwater.
Still, some local and state laws and regulations limit the amount and methods of collecting rainwater. In some cases, you may be required to obtain a permit to collect rainwater.
Protecting From Theft
Thieves will steal anything, and your rainwater is not immune to sticky fingers.
So while there are likely not going to be gangs of thugs roaming the neighborhood siphoning every rain barrel they see, your neighbors may consider hooking up a hose to your rain barrels in times of drought for their use.
Also, after a disaster or emergency, the gallons upon gallons of fresh water you have in plain view may be too tempting for desperate people.
Concealing The Fact You Are A Prepper
If you have stacks of 55-gallon drums lining the side of your home, your neighbors are inevitably going to ask about them.
I think most of us would let slip that one of the reasons we would be collecting large amounts of rainwater is preparedness.
Even if we don’t come out and say it, many people would consider a well-thought-out and constructed rainwater collection system as something that only a ‘crazy prepper’ would do.
We could exercise good operational security (OPSEC) in all other avenues of our lives only to have our rain barrels be the Judas that announces to our neighbors that we are preppers.
Rainwater Harvesting Can Be Ugly
We spend a lot of money purchasing property and want to ensure that our homes look their best.
Unfortunately, large water tanks, rain barrels, PVC plumbing, or blue 55 Gallon drums all act to reduce our home’s curb appeal and provide a definite eye sore.
Even if we are not worried about theft or legal implications, disguising our rainwater harvesting activities can still be something we should consider.
How Should We Hide Our Rain Water Harvesting Activities?
One of the first things we should do is place all of our barrels or tanks to the rear of our home, so they are out of view from anyone passing on the street.
If the backyard is not an option, using the side of the house can be good too, but it will be more visible and require more care in concealing.
One easy way to conceal rain barrels is to build a fence that encloses the barrels on all sides. If you take the time to make the fence look nice, most people will not give it a second thought.
If you have the time, skill, and materials, you can build an enclosure around your barrels or tanks using the same siding as your house. This will make it look like the enclosure is a part of the original construction of your home.
Another good option is to build a shed that will house your rain barrels or water tanks, but this has the disadvantage of needing to run plumbing into the shed from your downspouts which may cause people to wonder what is going on in the shed.
Depending on where you place your tanks or barrels, you can plant hedges or other plants in front of them to screen them from view.
One method I would suggest not to consider is burying the barrels or tanks. If you bury water tanks, you will have to account for using a water pump to get the water from the tanks and up to the surface where you need it. It also prevents you from being able to inspect the tank for potential leaks or contamination.
Collecting rainwater is a fantastic way to supplement your water storage or use it in your garden, but it is also a good idea to conceal these activities for the reasons I spoke about above.
Therefore, if you take the time to build a good rainwater harvesting system, you should also be taking the time to conceal its existence.
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