With the supply of water resources shrinking every year, it’s right to take precautions to prevent its total annihilation. According to experts, rainwater that has undergone an extensive treatment process is a high-quality water source. In fact, duly collected and stored rainwater represents a sustainable water resource that’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
It can be used for doing the laundry, flushing, and gardening. However, for rainwater to be used effectively, it needs to be harvested. This is where the rain water harvesting method comes in – it’s basically a technique used in the facilitation and storage of rainwater, often collected from the surface of land, roof tops, and rock catchments. The following are its elements:
The first phase of the rain harvesting system is the catchment, which is a surface intended to collect rainfall. It’s built particularly on a paved area – like a courtyard of an infrastructure or in a terrace. It can also be built on unpaved areas like grounds or lawns. Roof made of galvanized iron, corrugated sheets, or reinforced concrete can also act as catchments.
Like a complete roofing system, the rainwater harvesting system also utilizes gutters to facilitate the transport of water to the storage tank. Gutters can either be rectangular or semi-circular in shape; the size should be precise enough to accommodate a smooth flow of rainwater – ideally 10 to 15 percent oversize. They must also be constructed in such a way that they will not sag no matter how heavy the water load is.
A vital component of the rainwater harvesting system, the conduit, is responsible for carrying the rainwater collected from the catchment to the harvesting system. It’s basically constructed in form of pipelines made from polyvinyl chloride or galvanized iron materials. The diameter sizes of the conduit ranges from 50 to 150.
The filter is the most important element of rainwater harvesting systems as it’s used to remove all harmful substances and suspended pollutants from the collected rainwater. A filter system usually contains coarse sand, fibre, charcoal filters, and gravel layers to remove the dirt from the rainwater before it enters the storage unit.
The end component of rainwater harvesting systems, the storage tank is where all the rainwater is collected and stored for use. It can be rectangular, cylindrical or square in shape and can be made of galvanized metal, ferrocement, polyethylene plastic, or reinforced concrete materials. Visit http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/urban/Components.htm for more information.
Green Living 101: What Rain Water Harvesting Is All About