Here’s a useful primer on whole-house rainwater catchment systems:

In many areas of the country, a water-conserving household can provide for all its water needs from what it can catch off its roof. If the graywater and potentially the blackwater/humanure is also recycled for landscaping, each home can become an independent and sustainable part of the local ecology. We often speak of living off our annual income of solar energy, so it makes sense that we should try to live off our annual income of rainwater as well.

Does anyone have documentation on DIY blackwater systems?

Luke Iseman

Luke Iseman

Luke Iseman makes stuff, some of which works. He invites you to drive a bike for a living (dirtnailpedicab.com), stop killing your garden (growerbot.com), and live in an off-grid shipping container (boxouse.com).

  • andy

    If you live in the rocky mtn area, it is illegal to collect rainwater. Sucks but true.

  • Nobody

    This is the unfunniest XKCD comic I’ve read.

  • luxmaster

    I found a step by step here:

    There is also a video version there

  • ann

    the cistern needs an outlet towards the top to handle overflow. Should the cistern become filled you want to direct it away from the foundation of the house

  • mm

    we have a tank 10,000 lts that collects rain water from our house and we use it instead of town supply for our entire house. There is no need for a filtration system unless maybe you live in the middle of the city. I grew up drinking rain water collected of the roof of our farm house and I can’t even remember the gutters ever being cleaned. The taste difference is huge and our town supply is pretty good compared to some areas. as for blackwater systems the best are no water systems google for the Humanmanure handbook for some great ideas.

  • amateur scientist

    30 micron filter?! That would clog so quickly… I’d think you’d want a series of coarser filters first.

  • evy

    Hello, I translated and posted a link to your blog at my blog. Hope that is ok :)