We often hear people say “It never rains in San Diego”. To which we reply, even in a drought year we get at least 5 inches of rain, which translates to 6,000 gallons per year for a typical residence with a 2,000 sq ft roof area. This season’s winter rains have already given us more than 58% of the annual expected rainfall typical between Oct 1 and April 1. Our snow pack is struggling to keep up at 24%, so we aren’t out of drought by any means. The message is, we need every drop, and there is more to catch this season!
The best cure for any doubter about the quantity of San Diego rains is to install a tank or two and watch them fill up! We have a number of recently installed tanks that have filled during this winter’s rains. My favorite example is a residential project where the client was so committed to catching rain that he asked us to install seven 1,025 gallon tanks for a total of 7,175 gallons of storage. These tanks are connected to each other and to the irrigation system with a pump and controls. The tanks are full and now our client has the task of making use of the water in his garden or pond before the next rain! In the meantime, the overflow is deep-watering a landscaped area and re-charging his groundwater.
Another recent project has smaller storage of four 210 gallon tanks, which are also full. This project is notable because we were able to make use of space under a new deck with some marine tanks. This system gravity feeds a hose bib on a deck below the tanks so the client can hand-water veggies beds and potted plants.