Rainwater Harvesting: 5 Things You Need To Know

As its name implies, rainwater harvesting refers to the process of collecting rainwater, usually on a large surface area such as a rooftop. Ordinarily, if you don’t practice rainwater harvesting at home, the rainwater itself simply goes wasted. With your rainwater harvesting kit, you have a mechanism to connect to the downpipes. That way, you can filter rainwater before it’s stored in the tank.

Many households and industries practice rainwater harvesting because of the many promising benefits it brings. If you can maximize the use of rainwater, then why let it go to waste?

In this guide, you’ll come across everything you need to know about rainwater harvesting. That way, should you decide to apply this practice at home, you’ll have a good start to ensuring you do rainwater harvesting in the best way possible.

1. The Basics Of Rainwater Harvesting

A rainwater harvesting system is a network that consists of the following components:

  • The catchment, which is used to collect and store the rainwater collected;
  • The tanks and recharge structures, so you can store the filtered water, which would now be ready for use. There are smaller tanks available and bigger ones, depending on how much you need in your space.
  • The conveyance system, so you can transport the harvested water coming from the catchment and move it over to the recharge zone;
  • The filter, so you can filter any of the collected rainwater and remove the present pollutants;
  • The flush used to flush out the spell of rain.

2. The Purpose Of Rainwater Harvesting

There are many reasons why you may want to start rainwater harvesting. Those purposes can be summed up into three: domestic, commercial, and agricultural. In summary, those purposes include:

  • Domestic uses, like watering plants, flushing the toilet, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. In a household, those domestic uses typically account for at least half of the domestic water uses. It’s up to you now to compute how much you can save when your water use is now supplied by rainwater.
  • Commercial uses, such as for leisure businesses like gold courses and resorts wherein large quantities of water are consumed in toilets, swimming pools, and watering the lawn. In the transportation industry, this can be used for washing trucks and buses.
  • Agricultural uses, as this is what accounts for the highest possible wastage of water across different industries, especially for livestock. This is the reason why many farms will also most likely be on the lookout for other alternative sources of water.

3. Some Germs And Contaminants Are Found In Rainwater

Rainwater is useful for a lot of things. But, don’t let your guard down when it comes to consumption. You have to be more mindful, given the fact of how rainwater may not necessarily be as pure. If you intend to drink rainwater, you have to be very careful about filtering it out to remove any germs and contaminants.

If you aren’t vigilant about it, you may be consuming rainwater with parasites, bacteria, viruses, and other chemicals that’ll make you sick. Then, the roofing materials in your home, gutters, and pipes, may also be infested with harmful substances like lead and copper.

To lower your risk of getting sick, it may be a good idea not to use rainwater as your drinking water, or for cooking and food preparation.

4. The Amount Of Rainwater Harvested Depends On Several Factors

If you live in a place where rain is abundant, then it’s naturally expected for you to have a good amount of rainwater harvested. On the opposite, if you only receive a few days of rain in a year, then harvesting rainwater and going all out with its systems may not be a good idea.

You see, on top of the presence of rain, other factors can also contribute to the amount of rainwater that can be harvested in a day. Those other factors include:

  • The features of the rainwater catchments that you have;
  • The quantity, quality, and frequency of the rainfall in your local area;
  • The capacity of the storage tanks used.

5. The Process Of Rainwater Harvesting

The process of rainwater harvesting generally involves only three steps: storage, collection, and transportation. Here’s a brief background of each step:

  • You have to find a good and stable collection area for your rainwater. For this purpose, rooftops usually offer the best catchment areas. This is because of the large surface area and elevated position. 
  • From the collection area, you now have to transfer the rainwater. This can be done through guttering and downpipes. To ensure clean and safe rainwater collection, be sure too, to have a filter mechanism in place.
  • Designate a good storage area. Now that you’ve filtered and collected rainwater, comes the need for you to designate a good storage area. The needed storage will depend on how much rainwater you want and need.

Conclusion

If you’ve made that conscious decision to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle, then rainwater harvesting is definitely one of the best practices you can apply at home. It’s one of the best ways to conserve resources. Whether it’s for watering plants, washing the dishes, or bathing, collecting rainwater is a sustainable effort worth doing. Just be sure that you do it in the best and most accurate way possible. That way, you’re sure to enjoy all the promising benefits that rainwater harvesting can bring.

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