Rain Harvesting: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Water is known to be one of the most precious and important natural resources. This is something that people sometimes usually take for granted. These days, people are now becoming increasingly conscious of the significance and limited supply of water.
Rainwater harvesting simply stated is the collection of the water from different surfaces where rain falls and then subsequently stored in rain barrels or tanks for other purposes. Normally, rainwater is completely collected from the roofs of your buildings but in some instances through a catch mechanism that sits on the ground such as seen below.
Techniques Used in Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting from the roof of your building will flow directly from the roof to the gutters you have cleaned or have spent a little money placing Leaf Guards on all your gutters.
Then there is all the dust, pollen, bird and squirrel droppings as well as the vermin that infest them. You really don’t want that in your rain barrels or into a larger tank that you might be using for drinking water if or when the need arises. A water diverter can be used to catch 2 to 4 gallons of the first flow from off the roof making the water cleaner if not yet completely potable.
If it is planned to use this harvested water for everyday use in your home, filtering the water before it gets to your holding tank is imperative. There are several ways to do this after rainwater has passed the First Flush.
Into the top of the water barrel the rainwater flows through an insect (mosquito) proof screen into the top reservoir and passes through a layer of pea gravel and through a loose weave of cloth to a two inch layer of sand. This is also separated by cloth to a 2 inch layer of charcoal. More layers of cloth, sand, cloth, charcoal, cloth, sand, cloth, charcoal, cloth and finally gravel. A pipe is then ran from the bottom of the filter to a second one of similar configuration that is situated at a position a foot lower in height. This tank’s top is sealed and the flow is akin to a siphon. As the water flows from out of the bottom of the first barrel the water is subjected to the same type of filtration in the second barrel as the first barrel. The water from the second barrel goes into the final barrel for an additional cleansing set up similar to the first & second or for a holding tank to be pumped into a larger tank(s). This is an example of a three barrel Filtration System. These two IBC Totes have been set up as a main use storage tank. The second one appears to be the overflow tank of the first.
It is also possible to divert some portion of the rainwater you have harvested from your roof supply water to a separate tank for the use in your garden. If you’re situated in the city and in your yard you have the available space to do it, previously collected water can be your emergency back-up source of water if the City water becomes contaminated.
Rainwater Harvesting Benefits
Collecting and utilizing your own collected rainwater can also help you in reducing water bills. This can be done by routing your captured rainwater to the main inlet point in your house. In doing so, you may reduce your water bill by a significant amount. If you’re mechanically inclined, it is possible to route the water from the Holding Tank to the toilets in your house. Another is to pipe it through to the dishwasher in your kitchen as well as the washing machine.
With the benefits that rain harvesting offers, it is not surprising to know that more and more people in these days across the globe are already showing their great interest in collecting or harvesting rainwater.
Why Choose to Practice Rain Harvesting?
As far as rain harvesting is concerned, there is literally no down side to it. Unless of course you live in an area that prohibits the harvesting of Rainwater. So do it on the sly. (You didn’t hear that from me) There are ways to do it without exposing the system. It just requires a little thought and cleverness to do. If you need help in a working out a design to suite your needs, contact me via the “Contact Us” found at the top of the Home page of this website.
So, if things get bad with the power out and you find that the water no longer flows from the faucet, having a back-up source of water can mean the difference between life or death to you and yours. You can use several types of tankage to do what you want. It really depends on how much you’re willing to spend on your cistern.
Here is a 2000 gallon Tank at around $2500.00 The numbers shown depict: (1) & (2) depict the roof. (3) the leaf screen (4) secondary leaf & debris separator (5) first flush (6) Water Tank (7) water level in tank (8) water tank overflow (9) water diverter to auxiliary tank (10) water pressure pump (11) water pressure valve. Here are 4 -55 gallon barrels set up as the first depiction of filtration with the exception that each is a single unit for filtration. the black tube from the first is for overflow to the second. Second to third and third to fourth. The black pipe at the end is for overall overflow. These barrels run from $20 to $40 each. Here is an often used IBC Tote that holds 275 gallons. Top inlet and bottom drain valve for $75.00
Try hard to not let rainwater flow out away from your home and the area you live, rather try to make use of your abilities and techniques to collect it. Remember: “Water is Life”.