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Rain Barrel

Creating a Rainwater Recycling System

Sarasota benefits from more than 53 inches of rain annually. Capturing just a portion of the rain that runs from roof to gutters to ground and diverting it for garden and lawn with a rainwater recycling system can help reduce your water bill and conserve freshwater resources.

Don’t Drink the Water

While suitable for yard and indoor use (toilets and laundry), rainwater is not safe to drink as roof runoff has some impurities from your roofing and gutters. No collected rainwater is ever cleaned, filtered, and treated.

Two Methods

Catch runoff using roof catchment or create wetlands and retaining ponds at ground level. The first method is affordable, installs easily, and needs regular maintenance. The second method is labor intensive to create, but needs little maintenance.

Roof Rainwater Recycling

Rain BarrelWith only slight modifications to your Sarasota home’s existing gutters, you can purchase and assemble a rainwater recycling system yourself or have a ready-made system installed. Both methods will have a few simple parts:

  • Rain Barrel
  • Spigots, Pipes, Caulk, and Couplings
  • Pea Gravel and Cinder Blocks to Support the Barrel
  • Screen or Closed Barrel Top
  • Downspout Elbow


You can find detailed plans for DIY rain barrels online with a quick search, or contact a landscape professional about installation.

Altering the Gutter System

The only change to your Sarasota home’s gutters is at the downspout which will be cut off at a height just above the barrel. The S-shaped downspout elbow attaches to your home’s downspout, with its lower end in the rain barrel. You can opt for an open top barrel with a screen over it or a closed barrel with a rectangular opening just big enough for the gutter elbow to prevent insect entry.

One easy way to help ensure the cleanliness of the runoff water from your roof is to talk with Mark Kaufman Roofing about their Rhino Gutter Guard. A gutter guard can protect your gutters from clogging and keep detritus from entering your rain barrel.


For ground catchment, maintain the earthen dams and keep an eye out for invasive plant species that choke the ponds; plus, expect to share your system with amphibians, small mammals and, possibly, fish.

When using a roof rainwater recycling system, keep your Sarasota home’s roof and gutters clean, make sure the pipes and storage barrel stay uncontaminated, and avoid letting mosquitoes breed in the standing water. You can, also, for curb appeal hide the rain barrel behind fencing or camouflage it with paint or plants.

For each inch of rainfall, the average roof collects around 600 gallons of water; a rainwater recycling system is a great way to put that water to use. But, remember, before installing this system, check into building codes about permits needed or restrictions in your area. If you decide to install one, contact Mark Kaufman Roofing to learn about the Rhino Gutter Guard to keep debris and other materials out of your rain barrel.

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