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Rain harvesters taking advantage of wet month

Dotty collects rainwater in two 2,500 gallon tanks behind her greenhouse. The latest rain totals mean she can water her orchids without tapping into city water.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Dotty Woodson is in her element when she is in her greenhouse. On Thursday, the now-retired water resource specialist hosted a garden club at her greenhouse in north Fort Worth. She has been preaching water conservation and water harvesting for decades. And she can tell you most Texans aren't doing enough with our world's most precious resource.

Woodson collects rainwater in two 2,500-gallon tanks behind her greenhouse. The latest rain totals mean she can water her orchids without tapping into city water.

"These are full to the top, they're overflowing actually," Woodson said.

The two cisterns are large enough to supply her large Fort Worth greenhouse filled with exotic orchids. She tells WFAA she uses about 500 gallons of water a week. She's gotten 9 inches of rain at her property over the last three weeks. She is hopeful that will supply her plants through the summer.

But she is most excited about not having to tap into city water, which she last had to do in August of 2019.

"We're irrigating with that water that's going through a treatment plant...need I say more," Woodson laughed.

She tells us rainwater is salt-free, nitrogren-rich, soft, and much better for her plants. Woodson said a survey showed less than 7% of people in Texas harvest rainwater. She says cities like Austin are much better about it.

Woodson said the more rainwater is collected, the less it becomes runoff and the less polluted our waterways get.

"It's free. Rainwater is free!" Woodson exclaimed.

Free is a concept we should all be able to get behind.