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What You Need to Know about Rainwater Harvesting Systems

by tabathatidd

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Perhaps you often experience water supply shortages in your area. Maybe you’re shocked at how the water bills have spiked over the past few months. Either way, you’re looking for an alternative water source. In this case, rainwater harvesting systems may be the solution to your problems.

How Rainwater Harvesting Systems Work

Rainwater harvesting systems let you collect rainfall for future use. These uses include drinking water, water for gardening, and water for irrigation. At its simplest, the system has three components: (1) water transportation; (2) water filtration; and (3) water storage. More sophisticated harvesting systems have six: (1) catchments; (2) coarse mesh; (3) gutters; (4) conduits; (5) first-flushing, and (6); filters.

The catchments are where rain falls directly, e.g. terraces, lawns, and roofs. The coarse mesh prevents large debris from mixing with the rainwater. The gutters transport the water to the storage tank. The gutter size must be proportionate to the maximum amount of expected rainfall. Also, the gutters must have enough support so they won’t sag or fall from heavy rains.

Like the gutters, the conduits transport the rainfall to the harvesting system. The first flush device ensures that no pollutants enter the rainwater by flushing out the first spell of rain, as these usually contain the largest amount of pollutants. Lastly, the filters ensure that the rainwater is truly safe for use. Filters are made of charcoal or sand.

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting Systems

If you suddenly experience a water supply shortage in your house, you can be assured that your rainwater harvesting system can provide you back up. Even if this isn’t the case, you may be surprised at how your water bills can be reduced by using clean rainwater instead. You can also reduce flooding in your area with these systems. Lastly, you’ve probably heard time and again how water conservation helps the environment, as potable water is a limited resource.

How to Choose a Rainwater Harvesting System

Before you set up a rainwater harvesting system, know what you want to do with the collected rainwater first. For example, if your sole purpose for the rainwater is gardening, you don’t have to be too picky with the filters. On the other hand, choose a system with excellent filtration if the collected rainwater is for drinking.

Once you’ve established your usage, you can now determine how you want all that water to be distributed. Don’t forget to consider other factors such as price, ease of installation, and rainwater capacity. For more information on rainwater harvesting systems, read

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