Collect rainwater to cut down H2O bill

Collect rainwater to cut down H2O bill »Play Video
BOISE - A Boise builder doesn't let a drop of water go to waste.

"As our water bills keep climbing, because the resource is running out, it is going to be more and more necessary, " said Mark Hixson owner of Mark L. Hixson Design Build in Boise.

He says we could all learn a lesson from his work to preserve water. In fact, the water flowing out of one of his fountain designs is from last Spring's rain showers.

"Of course, the benefit of it is that you don't have to use city water for landscaping," Hixson said.

This Southwest Idaho home builder collects H2O year-round.

"You have the potential to harvest the water and recycle it rather than just let it run off down the hillside," Hixson said.

Hixson rounds up rain in two underground tanks.

"There is one inch of rain that is calculated to come off the roof to fill up the two tanks and that will last somewhere from the middle of the summer; depending on how much rain we get, because it is continuously recycled and reused," Hixson said.

He later reuses the water on landscapes with a drip irrigation system, so his clients can save on their water bills.

"This is the roof surface that collects all of the rain water and diverted to the gutter system into the piping system that is taken down to the two storage tanks," Hixson said while pointing to a blue print of the design.

Hixson says as residents of the High Desert, we should take advantage of what Mother Earth brings our way.

"They say that water is the next oil crisis that we will be dealing with because there is only so much water that we have to use so we have to be conservative and aware of it," Hixson said.

There's many ways you can utilize the rain that rolls off your roof as starter systems to harvesting rain.

"A rain barrel at the end of your gutter and go water your plants around your patio," Hixson said. "That is conserving rainwater."

Hixson says you can also use an extension if your rain gutter spills out the water where you don't want it go. He says an extension is an affordable solution, so you can direct the water so it is not wasted.

"Whether you are storing it in a 50-gallon rain barrel; a 5-gallon bucket or, in this case, two tanks; the principal is the same," Hixson said. "You store the water as oppose to wasting it."

He says we should take advantage of every little drop since the rain is free to use in Idaho, which is not the case in some of our neighboring states.

"In this particular state with our laws that we have- rain is free and so anyone may use it in regards to their particular needs," Hixson said.

With the City of Trees averaging only 12-inches a year, Hixson says capturing this precious resource isn't only green but wise; especially when living in the High Desert.

To learn more about Hixson's H2O harvesting designs, you may check out his website: http://www.marklhixson.com/ .