Did you know that the average home in Ventura could harvest nearly 600 gallons for every 1" of rainfall? Even in this prolonged drought, that represents a significant alternative water source for your garden.
The State of California's Plumbing Code has information regarding size restrictions, placement and maintenance in Chapter 17.
For design ideas, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) compiled this the 2013 Rainwater Catchment Systems guidebook. Additionally, the website is filled with information and a new, helpful Resource Guide.
Additionally, Brad Lancaster's book, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol. 1 is helpful in understanding the huge opportunity to harvest, store and reuse free water that falls from the sky!
In cooperation with Smith Pipe and Supply at 3060 Sherwin Avenue in Ventura, the City offers the Channel/Bushman 50-gallon rain barrel, (retail value of $92) for only $45 plus tax. The barrels are available at their Ventura location, with a Rain Barrel Discount Voucher and proof of city residence. Two rain barrel discounts are permitted per residential address with the voucher. Additional rain barrels may be purchased at the full retail price. The rain barrel is for non-potable water use only. Vouchers are available through Environmental Sustainability by calling 652-4584. This program is subject to supply and funding availability.
Here's a helpful video on how to install the barrel yourself.
If 50 gallons seems too small for you; consider using the Water Wise Incentive Program to off-set an investment in a larger cistern or rain garden. If using these funds for rainwater catchment, please review this handout.
HELPFUL LINKS ON RAINWATER HARVESTING