Tank Town brings in profit during drought
News 8 Austin – 7/22/2009
By: Russell Wilde and web staff

Currently, much of central Texas is experiencing an exceptional drought. Wells are running dry and many cities have water restrictions in place.

But one man from Dripping Springs, makes his living from the rain, and despite the drought, his business is booming.

Tank Town sits just west of the extremely dry Dripping Springs, Texas.

Tank Town is an oasis where cool, clear water continues to flow during one of the worst droughts in history.

Richard Heinichen is the Mayor of Tank Town and he is crazy about rainwater.

“It’s a source for all water, and all water, is rain water at one point,” Heinichen said.

The Mayor drinks the rainwater, bathes in it and also bottles it.

”Rainwater is naturally sweet; you cannot manufacture it with any kind of equipment, machinery, or nothing,” Heinichen said.

Tank Town can also connect homes to rainwater systems.

According to Heinichen, starting from scratch and equipping a home would cost about as much as it would to drill a new well.

“It’s more predictable, it’s more reliable, starting out and storing it is the key,” Heinichen said.

Storing rainwater takes a large enough tank to hold enough water for each individual household.

“That is 25 gallons per day per person [and] 1,000 sq.ft. of roof per person,” Mayor Heinichen said.

Tank Town has enough rainwater stored to continue bottling the water for months.

Once the tank is in place and full of water, he said someone could go more than 100 days without having rain and not run out.

When it does rain, even the slightest bit can go a long way.

“You get 550 gallons in a one inch of rain per 1,000 sq. ft.,” Heinichen said.

Tank Town has enough rainwater stored to continue bottling the water for months.

“The old saying that Noah didn’t build the ark when it was raining is still true,” Heinichen said.

The Mayor of Tank Town said he doesn’t need any rain, but he would welcome a good soaking.
“Right now I really want it for our creeks and streams the birds and all the deer,” Heinichen said.

He also wouldn’t mind topping off his tanks.

Heinichen said, since the drought began, Tank Town has seen a dramatic increase in demand for rainwater systems.

His bottled water is available at stores around Austin.

Facts about Richard’s Real Rainwater:

  • The first company licensed to bottle rainwater in America
  • The first company in the U.S. licensed to use rainwater as a sole source of water for a public water supply (# PWS 1050133).
  • Bottled at the source, the first closed-loop system using no chlorine or other chemical germicides for disinfection at any time during the process.