The company that turns rain into drinking water

Richard’s Rainwater collects and treats rainwater, which it bottles and sells. The company began with one man’s “tank town.”

As a kid, did you ever stand outside collecting rain or snow on your tongue? Look, it’s OK if you still do.


Richard’s Rainwater turned it into a business, selling still and sparkling rainwater in recyclable aluminum cans and glass bottles.

The backstory

Frustrated with well water’s effect on his hair and laundry, founder Richard Heinichen began collecting rainwater for personal use at his Austin, Texas, home in the ‘90s.

He later built a “tank town” to harvest larger volumes of water and, in 2002, received a license to bottle and distribute what he called “cloud juice.” Heinichen has since retired.


… in addition to Tank Town, Richard’s Rainwater has two brewery partners: Lazy Magnolia in Kiln, Mississippi, and Faubourg Brewing Co. in New Orleans.

CEO Taylor O’Neil told The Hustle that collection systems, located on the breweries’ roofs, connect to existing stormwater management systems.

Sensors note when a rain event begins and, because rain events cleanse the atmosphere, eschew the first 0.2 inches.

The rest goes into collection tanks. A proprietary zero-waste, chlorine-free filtration system removes biological or particulate contaminants before the water is bottled on-site.

  • For every 1k square feet of collection area, an inch of rain generates ~550 gallons of clean water.
  • The company anticipates harvesting 4m+ gallons in 2023 for an estimated $10m+ in sales.

The goal…

… is to build collection sites nationwide, with immediate sights set on Oregon and North Carolina. Sites that offer ample surface area and precipitation are ideal.

“Every new site will enable us to move water [shorter distances] from where it’s captured to where it’s consumed, create new jobs, and be a better example of renewable water in more communities,” O’Neil said.

BTW: O’Neil said even dry places could collect rain for drinking water or other purposes. Because when it does rain, it can overload ill-equipped  systems, spread contamination, and make my commute very soggy.

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