Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater from the surface on which it falls and storing it for later use. Usually, the rainwater is collected from the roofs of buildings and stored in tanks. The gutters on a building directs rainfall to the tanks where it can be stored and later used for a variety of purposes, such as landscaping, wildlife and livestock watering, household use, and fire protection. If you have a roof and gutters, you already have most of the necessary components for an effective rainwater harvesting system. All you need now is somewhere to store the water. A popular choice for storing rainwater is a corrugated steel tank.
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As the rainwater runs off the roof, it flows through the gutter-based drainage system toward the structure. It then enters the tank, made of rust-resistant galvanized steel, where it enters the tank for proper storage. The overflow pipe ensures a safe exit for any overflow water once the tank is full. These tanks are often preferred to other sources due to ease of maintenance, life-expectancy, and its toughness as it can stand in winds of 95 miles per hour and through winter storms. Their structural stability allows them to hold a wide range of sizes, ranging from 700 gallons to 100,000 gallons of capacity.
ADVANTAGES OF A RAINWATER SYSTEM
The majority of water we use is for non drinking...washing clothes and dishes to bathing and flushing toilets, which all use incredible amounts of water. Rainwater is soft and can be use for all those things, sometimes eliminating the need for detergents.
STORE WATER FOR TIMES OF HIGH DEMAND
There are several reasons that a rural water supply can be affected, including drought or more drain on the water table than can be naturally supported. Collecting rainwater and storing it in a tank will helps ensure that water is on hand when needed for residential or commercial use.
Heavy rain can cause significant flooding in low-lying areas, or areas without proper drainage installed. If a building lacks the proper slope to direct water away from it, the water can collect in courtyards or patios, creating flooding which can be damaging. This problem can be solved by having the gutters direct the water to a water storage tank for reuse.
PLANT & GARDEN GROWTH
Most of the water used for plants reduces their ability to grow with the inclusion of salts, minerals, chlorination, and other man-made contaminants. Rainwater is free of most pollutants when it falls and is still relatively clean when in proper storage. Irrigating plants with this naturally produced water may improve their ability to grow.
Most rainwater harvesting systems are friendly to the environment because they don’t require the need for fuel-based machines. Roofs make for excellent catchment systems and the roof’s gutters can carry water to the storage tank. Since rainwater is already relatively clean, it can immediately be used for certain tasks, such as irrigation and watering gardens, without the need of filtration.
SAVE MONEY ON WATER BILLS
This illustration shows how a rainwater system operates. Simple in design but highly efficient.