Passive Rainwater Harvesting
Passive Rainwater Harvesting is one of the oldest and easiest ways to harvest rainwater. Water is directed by earthen structures designed to transport and/or store rainwater. Passive systems are a hands-off approach used to send rainwater to beneficial areas of the landscape. This is also a way to redirect or control any problematic water that is collecting near a building or causing erosion issues.
Below are some of the most common terms that are used in passive rainwater harvesting:
Berms
  • Raised earth perpendicular to the slope of the land with a level top 
  • Used to retain water up-slope 
  • May double as raised pathways through the landscape 
Basins
  • Depressions in the earth 
  • Used to store water 
  • Typically mulched 
  • Walls may be gradually sloped or have rock reinforcement 
Swales
  • Sinuous depression intended to slow and move water between or to features
Rock Work – Erosion control
  • Bank protection 
  • Architectural features 
Inflow
  • Designated area where water enters a feature 
Overflow
  • Designated area where water exits a feature 
  • All systems should have a planned overflow 
Curb Cut/Core
  • Section of roadside curb which has been removed to allow water to enter an adjacent feature