The rainwater collection system, also known as a rainwater harvesting system or a rainwater catchment system, is a technology that stores and collects rainwater and can be used by humans. Rainwater harvesting systems vary from basic rain barrels to more complex structures that include tanks, pumps, and filters.
The harvested rainwater is used to water landscapes, flush toilets, car wash, and even launder clothes. We must filter the water before use. Water shortage is a significant issue in most densely populated areas, and rainwater harvesting systems could supply businesses and homes with water during dry periods and decrease the need for municipal water systems.
Why is it Essential to Use a Rain Water Collection System?
A study printed in 2014 and titled “The Geographic Footprint of Electricity Use for Water Services in the Western U.S.
“Declares that “U.S. public drinking water systems use roughly 39.2 billion kWh per year, corresponding to about 1% of total 37 electricity use in the U.S. While municipal wastewater treatment systems use approximately 30.2 billion kWh per year or about 0.8% of total electricity use.”
The energy needed for transporting water over long distances to homes has an immense impact on energy. However, rainfall that falls on roofs and the roofs of houses can be sufficient to satisfy our daily needs. Unfortunately, only a handful of homeowners have rainwater harvesting systems. In addition, fewer cisterns can capture or filter and keep the water in storage to use later.
According to research, each millimetre of rainfall deposited onto the surface of 1,000 sq. feet impervious to water like a roof produces 620 gallons of potable water. A house of 2,000 square feet situated in a locale with an annual rainfall of 35 inches can gather more than 43,000 gallons of water. The average American homeowners use approximately 300 gallons of water daily, which is 109,000 gallons.
Switching to fixtures that use less water could cut that number to half. With a high-quality rainwater capture system, homeowners can eliminate the need for municipal water systems with enormous energy use. Rainwater collection systems don’t just help reduce houses’ carbon and environmental footprints. They can also play a vital role in helping to make our homes more sustainable. Instead of merely allowing potable rainwater to become stormwater contaminating local watersheds, regenerative-designed homes find ways to utilize that water for household use and landscape design.
Design Recommendations for Rainwater Catchment System
The most basic rainwater collection systems are non-pressurized systems such as rain barrels, where the pipes can flow from the rain gutters to tanks. They are known in the industry as “dry systems,” those structures cannot hold any water once the rain stop. They also need to create breeding areas for mosquitoes and different insect species. “Wet systems” are necessary when we connect pipes directly to tanks.
When creating a rainwater harvesting system, the following four steps should follow and implement them.
- Pre-filters must use to remove debris off the roof’s surface during rain storms. There are many variations of pre-filters that are available. It is essential to know that the filter won’t require maintenance whenever there is a rainstorm and that the first flush into the tank is for storage. When rain events begin with the first drop of water, the roof’s surface will likely carry a lot of debris. Shifting the “first flush” away from the storage vessel can help maintain high-quality water in the storage container. The devices usually install the system following the gutters and when water falls into the storage vessel.
- The method by which water gets into the container for storage purposes is crucial. With a smooth inlet, one should refrain from stirring sediments at the bottom of the vessel. The smoothing outlet also assists in improving the oxygenation of the water. Also, it exchanges old water for new water.
- Removing moisture in the container for storage is essential to supply high-quality water. The water extracted below the surface is usually of the finest quality. A floating filter permits the extraction of water just below the surface. The water that comes out of the character or floor can be contaminated by tiny particles. Which can cause problems with seals on the plumbing seats and valves.
- In addition, catchments must not contain any accumulations made of soil, Moss, lichens, and other particles. Regularly cleaning the tank’s inlets, gutters, and screens and periodic tank inspections are required for the proper functioning of the tank. Ideally, the individual who uses rainwater regularly provides the water’s quality.
Quality of Collected Water
The quality of rainwater may vary based on the pollution from the atmosphere, the method of harvesting, and the storage process. Although the quality of the rainwater harvested may vary, it is comparable to the water regularly treated by the public mains supply.
Rainwater catchment systems are vulnerable to environmental dangers due to their area of the catchment. There are many ways in which contaminants could enter the system of rainwater and affect the water’s quality. For example, chemical pollutants can dissolve in precipitation and leach due to specific characteristics in the components of the water system. Likewise, microbial threats are possible by bird droppings or even a poor collection and storage design.
The rainwater collected doesn’t require a very high level of purity for agricultural or garden applications. Water derived from dirty surface runoff is not safe to drink or cook food. Separation of the rainwater’s first flush away from gutters, the roof, and other surfaces for collection could improve the water quality in the water tank.
If we collect rainwater for use in the home, it must purify water first. People must be aware of the dangers and hazards of negligence when harvesting rainwater. Local health authorities usually have created appropriate guidelines. Simple maintenance schedules based on water safety plans recommended assisting people living in the community and those working for institutions consistently maintaining high water quality.