How to Collect Rainwater without Gutters (10 Ways to do it)

How to collect rainwater

Water is becoming increasingly scarce and increasingly expensive. And if it rains, we do our best to get the water out as quickly as possible. Rainwater quickly goes to the sea via water drainage systems and ditches.

Rainwater is ideal for many applications, including your home and surroundings. You can water the garden with it, water house plants, wash the car and if you go one step further you can use the water to flush the toilet or to run the washing machine!

You can also collect rainwater in the garden to slowly sink into the soil instead of guiding it to the sewer.

These are just some ideas of what you can do with rainwater, but you have to collect it first.

In addition to collecting rainwater, you can also pump up rainwater by building a well yourself. You can read how to do this and the rules for a well in our blog, ‘How to make a well yourself, ‘full of practical tips.

But what if you don’t have a gutter and downspout? How can you collect rainwater without gutter?

How to Collect Rainwater Without Gutter?

Collecting rainwater is already becoming common in some regions. States in the US are also making increasing demands on the collection of rainwater. Not only because the rainwater can be used for many applications but also because the sewers can no longer handle it and overflow during heavy rainfall, this is becoming a problem, especially in older and low-lying neighborhoods.

So anything the citizen can do to collect the rainwater is only welcomed.

The roof collects a lot of rainwater, which is then drained by the gutter., but what if you don’t have a gutter? You can collect the rainwater through the gutter and the downspout in a rain barrel and underground storage. What if there is no gutter at the location where you want to collect the rainwater? How can you collect rainwater?

How to Collect Rainwater Without Downspout?

There are several ways to collect water without a gutter and downspout, but I will clarify “collecting” first.

Catch means:

  1. Storing the rainwater in a tank or rain barrel
    Collecting systems transport the water to a rain barrel or underground storage where it can later be used for watering the garden, or running the washing machine.
  2. Retaining the rainwater in the garden or terrace
    Do not drain the rainwater into the sewer, but keep it in the garden for as long as possible.

As mentioned, there are several options for collecting rainwater, even if no downspout is present. Below is a list of ways to collect rainwater without a downspout. Even if you can collect water through the roof and drain it with a downpipe, there are ways you can use it to retain rainwater for longer.

  • Gutters in the driveway
    You can collect rainwater from gutters in the driveway, higher at the house, and lower on the street. On the street side, you place collecting gutters that collect the water. You can now let this water out in the garden or collect it in an underground collecting tank with, for example, infiltration containers.
  • Gutters in the terrace
    This is the same as the driveway. Make your patio higher at the house and lower where it leads to the garden. Place catchment gutters at the transition from terrace to garden and collect the water underground.
  • More green few tiles
    This is a well-known tile lift. The water cannot enter the ground if a garden has many tiles. It stays on the tiles and looks for the lowest point. This lowest point is usually the street side, where it disappears into the sewer. By removing tiles and planting, the rainwater has the chance to sink into the garden.
  • Fewer tiles more gravel
    Do you have no green fingers, and is the garden full of tiles? Then consider replacing tiles with gravel in certain places. In the gravel areas, the rainwater can quickly sink into the ground and retain water.
  • Water-permeable tiles 
    Another option is to replace the tiles with water-permeable tiles. These tiles have holes between which grass can grow and thus allow water to pass through. This allows the water to penetrate the ground instead of being drained into the sewer.
  • Create a low-lying pond without a raised edge
    A pond with a natural border, so none with a wooden raised edge works perfectly for collecting water. The water will flow to the lower pond and thus maintain the water level.
  • Placing infiltration crates under the ground
    These crates are placed under the ground, and the rainwater is led to the containers via drains and gutters. When the containers are full, the water is released to the ground, and there is no longer any flooding.
  • Arrange the garden in a draining way 
    A drainage arrangement means installing a gradient in your garden/terrace/driveway. This way, you can drain the water without gutters and guide it where you want it.
  • Create an Infiltration trench
    An infiltration trench is a green strip in the garden that is lower than the rest. Here the water can be collected where it can slowly sink into the ground. You can cover the bottom with pebbles or plants. Note that not every plant can stand in water with its roots. Take swamp plants or the Wadi. They can withstand wet feet and will not rot if it rains a lot.
    You will also see more and more Wadis appearing in the residential area. These are lower grass ditches for the collection of rainwater in the neighborhood.
  • Make a green roof
    If you have a roof but no downspouts, you can make a green roof with Sedum, for example. This roof will retain the rainwater that falls on the roof.

Real DIY Project for a Vegetable Garden

You use an IBC tank (Intermediate Bulk Container) for this. You have probably seen them. They are large square plastic containers with a steel frame around them, and the size is usually 1.20 x 1.20 x 1.20 meters.

Place the container on an elevation of, for example, three pallets. Now you can install a drain tap at the bottom of the barrel. Because of the height of the barrel, you can now water the garden, where you have enough water pressure.

You collect the water by making a frame between which a tarpaulin is stretched. Below is an example of what it will look like and two other possibilities. You have to put your creativity to work for these solutions!


IBC container

These are ways to collect rainwater without a downspout, and the great thing about it is that you can do it all yourself. It may be an investment of a weekend, but then you have also made a nice water collection system for your garden.

ProTip: more green means less flooding. The greener the garden, the better the water can be collected, and there will be less flooding.

Read also: How to drill a water well yourself

About Christian

I am passionate about indoor and outdoor design, woodworking projects, painting, plastering, cleaning after jobs, wallpapering techniques, and helping others. I appreciate doing the research required for my job to keep my articles relevant and engaging, so everyone can benefit from them.

View all posts by Christian →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *