Because rainwater harvesting has only recently become mainstream, the research available is limited. Many times, Extension employees are unable to answer a client's question because there is no or limited data to support an accurate answer. Part of our mission in educating people is doing the research so that those questions can be answered. In the coming weeks, we will discuss the various research that we have completed or are currently doing.
In the picture above, we have 12 rain barrel-sized containers that each hold 55 gallons of water. There are three sets of four barrels. Each set has four different colors and is under a different shading: full sun, partial shade and full shade. We have inserted a temperature probe into each barrel to measure water temperature over time.
High temperatures in rainwater harvesting tanks may compromise water quality or effect plant growth. From this experiment we hope to determine what particular color of water tank and what amount of shading helps keep the temperature moderated and cooler during the hot Texas summers.