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When you ask most people how to catch rainwater, they think it is as simple as having a slanted surface that drains into a gutter and then into some kind of holding tank. While this may be true in its most basic sense, there is much more that goes into catching and filtering rainwater so it will be safe to use (potable) and store for a long period of time.
An important thing to consider is whether catching rainwater is legal in your area. There are numerous counties, local municipalities, and even states that have anti-water catchment laws. Other red-tape may include HOA rules prohibiting the set up of a water catch system.
There are 4 basic steps to the whole process: catching, holding, filtering, and storing it. Don’t forget the means to pump it or access it so you can at least get buckets. Of course, you want to make your system as convenient as possible, not to mention as large as possible. Water is life and if done wrong, can kill with pathogens and bacteria that can make you sick. Even though the water is usually pure and safe when it falls from the sky (barring polluted areas, of course), the surface it lands on may have bird droppings, rotting vegetation such as leaves and other debris. Filtering is very important!