Actual rainwater harvesting involves the collection of rainfall runoff from rooftops, concrete patios, driveways and other impervious surfaces. Rainwater collection systems vary from the simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly. Typically, rooftop rainwater collection systems are simple, consisting of gutters, downspouts, and storage containers. Inexpensive rainwater storage systems commonly make use of an above ground container such as a barrel or plastic tank with a lid to reduce evaporation and bar access for mosquitos to breed. Any container capable of collecting the rain shedding from a roof or patio can be used as a rainwater harvesting system, but to be in conformance with Colorado water law, the container additionally must be equipped with a sealable lid. More sophisticated systems have “first flush” diverters that are recommended to exclude capture of the initial rain that might carry impurities from the roof.
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