Lifestyle

One Texas Water: Conserving Rainwater One Storm at a Time

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Photos courtesy of One Texas Water except where otherwise noted.

“Water is life,” says Ben Pedraza, co-owner of One Texas Water, a rainwater catchment company. To say it’s a precious resource is to underestimate its value. It’s a priceless resource, but a resource that lasts forever if managed correctly. Ben Pedraza wants to teach others how to harvest rainwater, one rain storm at a time.

Pedraza’s yard in a San Antonio suburb looks like a wedge of the Garden of Eden. His fruit trees, herbs, and vegetable garden are so prolific that neighbors are welcome to shop his yard for fresh produce. “I could never use it all,” Pedraza says.

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He first became interested in rainwater collection after he noticed the difference fresh water versus city water made in his garden. I saw what rainwater was doing,” he says, “It could rain one time, and I could tell the difference in the plants. I could water every day [with city water] and not get the same results.”

Pedraza and co-owner, Chris Carroll, saw an opportunity to create a green business that would add value to the community while also preserving a precious resource. They formed One Texas Water in 2011.

Pedraza ticks off numerous advantages to harvesting rainwater.

Harvesting rainwater cuts down on water usage. It cuts down on soil erosion. It mitigates flood damage from severe storms. And rainwater is better for plants, animals, and humans. Rainwater is naturally soft. It doesn’t contain the minerals and salt that hard water does. Rainwater naturally fertilizes plants thanks to its nitrogen content. Plus, it tastes good. “It’s the best tasting water you’ll ever drink,” says Pedraza.

OneTexWater

The popular belief that Texas doesn’t receive enough rain to maintain a rainwater collection system is simply not true. “We live in a honey hole for rainwater harvesting,” Pedraza says. “We receive 32 inches of rain per year. Ours can just come all at once.”

 

Statistics say that the average American uses 50-100 gallons of water every day. And 50–70% of that is used outdoors. A 2,000-square foot roof can provide 1,250 gallons of run-off per one inch of rain or on average 40,000 gallons of water per year.

The cost of installation depends on the size of the tank, the distance between the tank and the house, and the cost of leveling the ground where the tank will sit. The total cost of a 30,000-gallon system works out to be almost $1 for every gallon of water stored comparable to a well water system.

Water collected by a One Texas Water system can be used a variety of ways including potable (drinking) water uses or simply for maintaining landscapes and gardens. Grey water collected from activities like laundry or dishwashing can be used for outdoor use. The accumulated water goes through a purification process depending on the end use for the water. The water passes through a series of filters to clear the water of impurities and is exposed to UV light to inactivate any bacteria or viruses.

Well water retention tank

One Texas Water offers a variety of systems, tank sizes, and services. They’ve designed and installed systems all over Texas for both commercial customers and homeowners from Amarillo to Laredo and everywhere in between.

Pedraza says of rainwater catchment systems, “It’s a sure thing, it’s a better thing, and it’s a forever thing. It’s a technology that’s been around since ancient times. We’re just making it safer and more convenient.” Plus, rainwater is free, and it comes with a guarantee. “We always tell people it’ll rain again or your money back,” he says.

To learn more about One Texas Water, visit their website: www.onetexaswater.com or give them a call at 210-373-4561.