Water Storage & Rain Harvesting

How Much Does A Water Collection System Cost?

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[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 13, 2018 9:54:45 AM / by Matthew Firth

How Much Does A Rainwater Harvesting System Cost.jpg

There are many types of rain harvesting systems available. Finding the right one to fit your requirements is often challenging, especially when you have a budget and you don't know what a complete system costs. In this article, you will get a basic idea of how much popular rain harvesting systems cost to setup from start to finish. Although there are a lot of options to choose from, this guide will make it much simpler to make the right decisions.

The Real Cost of Rainwater Harvesting System Components:

Before you purchase a water collection system, it is important to understand the cost of each component. This will help you understand and plan what you can afford to buy. Also, knowing what you will be using the water for, will help determine what components you need and what you can do without.

Here is a list of all the items you can include in your rain harvesting system. Some of these are optional and some are nice-to-haves. This table explains each item and the estimated cost range.

 Item *Est. Cost 
 Roof Surface & Gutters Depends on roof size
 Gutter Mesh (optional): Est. for 200' of gutter  $7 - $10 per foot
($1,500 - $2,000 for Installation)
 Gutter Outlets: $5 each 
 Downspout Screens (optional): $28 each 
 First Flush Diverter (optional): $30 each 
 Tank Screen (optional): $15 each 
 Tank/Base: $400 - $3,300 
 Screens at the end of overflow pipes (optional): $16 each 
 Tank top up system (optional): $100 
Pump (optional): $150 - $250
Filters (optional): $70 - $200
Tank Gauge (optional): $40
Pipes & fittings: Depends on size and amount

Tip: To see a description of each component, refer to the diagram and explanations below.

*These water collection component costs may vary depending on the size of rain harvesting system you decide to install. I would recommend you double check the manufacturer prices before you make a final decision. These are estimates to help you get a quick idea of how much they can cost.

Water Catchment System Components Explained

  1. Roof Surface & Gutters: I have not included a cost on this item because obviously you will already have them before you begin. I just included this to show that you need a roof for rain harvesting.
  2. Gutter Mesh (optional): Cost - Between $7.50 and $10 per lineal foot installed. "Considering that the average home has about 200 feet of gutter, homeowners should expect to pay about $1,500 - $2,000 for professional gutter guard installation, though more complex gutter guard systems will be more expensive" - Angie's List®. Gutter mesh is installed on your gutters to stop leaves and debris entering into them.
  3. Gutter Outlets: Cost - $5 each. Gutter outlets need to be installed to channel the water from your gutter to a downspout. These are also called downspout connectors.

    Pro tip: As a general rule, you should have a downspout for every 20 feet of gutter. To view more information about downspout connectors, read this interesting guide.

  4. Downspout Screens (optional): Cost - $28 each. Downspout screens are installed at the top of your downspout. They are another filter to stop leaves and insects getting into your pipes. If your water is coming in contact with a human, I would recommend these.

    Helpful installation guide: To see how downspout screens are installed, read this helpful guide.

  5. First Flush Diverter (optional): Cost - $30 eachThis is installed into the pipe that is coming from your gutter to your tank. These are designed to separate the initial dirty water that comes off your roof from the clean water.
  6. Tank Screen (optional): Cost - $15 each. These are installed at the top of your tank lid. These are very useful for removing that final debris from your water before it enters the tank.
  7. Tank/Base: You will need to choose between gravel and concrete. In the end they will be a similar price. Tank base cost - $100 to $300. Having the right tank and base is extremely important. Choosing the right size will depend on your rainfall amounts and how much room you have. Water storage tank cost - $300 to $3,000. 

    Helpful content: To understand how to choose the right water collection tank for you, read this guide. Click here.

  8. Screens at the end of overflow pipes (optional): Cost - $16 each. These screens will prevent insects entering your tank through the overflow pipes.
  9. Tank top up system (optional): Cost - $100This system allows you to automatically top up the tank with mains water. This will stop your water level falling below a designated minimum level.
  10. Pump (optional): Cost - $150 to $250Having a pump to distribute your water will give you extra flow and pressure. You can then use the water for inside or outside use.

    Pro tip: If your pump is not in a convenient spot and requires a lot of time to turn it on every time, you probably won't use it. 

  11. Filters (optional): Cost - $70 to $200Fitting filters after your pump will help reduce residual sediment, color and odor. If your water is coming in contact with a human or pet, this is recommended.
  12. Tank Gauge (optional): Cost - $40. Having a gauge attached to your tank will allow you to closely monitor the water level.
  13. Pipes & fittings: These costs can vary dramatically as it really depends on whether you are installing a 'dry' system or a 'wet' system. To get this cost, I would suggest you consult with your rain harvesting tank dealer.

    Helpful content: To learn more about the pros and cons of 'Wet; and 'Dry' systems, read this helpful article.


*The image above is created and owned by Rain Harvesting PTY. To visit their website, click this link.

Related: 4 Reasons You Should Collect Rainwater

Conclusion: Water Collection System Total Costs

To conclude, I decided to give an example of what a basic system costs and what an advanced system would cost. Once again, these are estimates to give you a rough idea of the investment amount. I have not included costs for a roof surface, gutters or pipes. 

This table explains the overall rain harvesting system cost for a 2,500 square foot roof. This is the average roof size for a house in the USA.

*Est. Total Cost $2,225  $11,353
 Item Basic System Advanced System 
 Roof Surface & Gutters  Depends on roof size Depends on roof size 
 Gutter Mesh (optional):   (200') $3,500 
 Gutter Outlets: (5) $25 (10) $50
 Downspout Screens (optional):   (10) $280
 First Flush Diverter (optional):   (3) $90
 Tank Screen (optional):   (3) $45
 Tank/Base: (1) $2,200 (3) $6,600
 Screens at the end of overflow pipes (optional):   (3) $18
 Tank top up system (optional):   (3) $300
Pump (optional):   (1) $200
Filters (optional):   (1) $150
Tank Gauge (optional):   (3) $120
Pipes & fittings:  Depends on size and amount Depends on size and amount 

*These water collection system costs may vary depending on the size of rain harvesting system you decide to install. I would recommend you double check the manufacturer prices before you make a final decision. These are estimates to help you get a quick idea of the cost range.

Although the size and shape of your roof will determine the type of water collection system you need, these estimates will guide you in the right direction. Getting a rough idea of how much something costs, always speeds up the research phase of a new project like this. If you have any questions or comments, add them below.


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Topics: Buying a Rain Harvesting System

Matthew Firth

Written by Matthew Firth

I really enjoy teaching people about topics that I am passionate about.