Hardscape specialist ensures rainwater harvesting good to the last drop

19 Ongi 400

19 Ongii 400

19 Ongiii 400

San Antonio-based Big Grass, a key source of sustainable home and garden décor in Texas, has expanded its Ong jar line of cement-based rainwater harvesting collection vessels to meet the growing demand for water conservation solutions.

“As regulations and incentives to conserve water increase, customers are seeking harvesting options that are both functional and aesthetically appealing,” says Big Grass co-owner John Hanesworth. “The Ong jar collection offers attractive alternatives to conventional plastic and metal collection vessels to harvest water from rainfall or air conditioning condensation.”

Big Grass is rolling out the tallOng, a 240-gal. vessel with a narrow profile suitable for tight spaces, and plans a new version of the 115-gal. Mini Ong, a small footprint alternative geared to rainwater-harvesting newcomers. The additions complement Big Grass’ existing 160- and 450-gal. Ong jars, all designed for integration into larger catchment systems. The vessels are handmade in Thailand from cementitious mixes and mimic large-volume jars used for centuries in Southeast Asia to collect rainwater in times of drought. They remain a staple of daily life in many rural communities for household or drinking water collection.

Big Grass works directly with producers in Thailand and is the only U.S. source for Ong jars. In 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a request to register the “Ong” mark. The company custom stains and seals the Ong jars, and each vessel comes with standard hose faucet fittings, drain plugs and galvanized metal lids. Metal filter baskets are available to prevent entry of leaf debris and discourage mosquito breeding.

“Ong jars are popular among both retail customers and landscape designers,” notes Hanesworth. “In addition to their ease of use, they add long-lasting style to outdoor spaces unlike many plastic containers that become brittle with prolonged exposure to sunlight, or metal containers that are difficult to conceal and can eventually rust.” — www.ongjar.com