Cisterns let you store precious rainwater that falls during Florida's rainy summer months so that you can use it in your garden during our drier winters.
Gutters, or a similar catchment system, take the rainwater that falls onto your roof and directs it into the cistern, where a filter system excludes any debris.
Cisterns can be made of plastic, metal, or concrete and can hold hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water. They can be placed above ground or buried underground.
If you have an elevated cistern, gravity will let the water flow out. Otherwise, you'll need a small pump. With a little planning and investment, you can install a cistern and have a Florida-Friendly way to water your garden throughout the year.
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Cisterns Back by Popular Demand--Florida Community Association Journal (PDF)
- Cleaning and Disinfecting a Cistern--University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service (PDF)
- Designing Cisterns for Green Roofs in Florida--University of Central Florida (PDF)
- Permeable Pavements, Green Roofs, and Cisterns--North Carolina Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction, and Water Treatment--Penn State Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- What is a Cistern? Fact Sheet--University of Central Florida (PDF)