It’s no surprise that so many people today want to know everything there is to know about the endeavour that is rainwater harvesting. After all, there’s the fear that with climate change comes undesirable changes to the safe and clean reservoirs humanity gets its water from—one such change being the complete drying-up of these reservoirs or bodies of water, never to recover again.
It’s also no surprise that these same people who want to know everything that needs to be known about rainwater harvesting are wondering if rainwater harvesting is indeed a green endeavour, or if it will just add to the problem that mother nature is facing.
Knowing the answer to the above means knowing two things—the steps involved in building the whole thing, and how each component installed makes the system environment-friendly. Both of these are highlighted below.
The steps to creating your own rainwater harvesting system basically involve setting up the right components the right way in your property. The essential components of a rainwater harvesting system are as follows:
Catchment and Drainage Systems
These two systems are composed of roof, gutter, and downpipe.
The best type of roof to use as catchment, by far, is an unpainted metal roof. This is because an unpainted metal roof contains the least amount of contaminants by virtue of not having paint on its surface. It’s also worth mentioning that metal used for roofing does not corrode easily.
The roof should be set up at a sloping angle to enable rain to flow down into the drainage system, which sits at the bottom of the slope. The drainage system can be made of just about any food grade material.
The downpipe, which bridges gutter and rainwater storage tank, should also be made of food grade material. It can be set up angled, just like the roof, though there are other ways to connect gutter, downpipe, and rainwater tank together.
Drainage and catchment systems that have been properly set up make the resulting system capable of saving the environment. This is because these parts help reduce the need for providers to go overboard with the use of energy from not-so-friendly sources to acquire water.
Rainwater Storage Tank and Filtration and Purification Systems
Water that gets past the catchment and drainage systems need to pass filtration and purification systems in order to become suitable for use. The different filters that rainwater needs to pass are a number of screens and meshes and the first flush diverter, a device that prevents the impure first flow of rain from getting into the tank. A system can have at least one purification system, and there are many options available in the market, ranging from chemical systems to UV systems.
The presence of purification and filtration systems is another way the rainwater harvesting setup is eco-friendly—this is a homeowner’s way of helping to reduce the need for providers to use so much energy sourced from less-than-ideal sources when it comes to purifying water.
A third reason why the entire system is eco-friendly is the fact that rainwater needs to be stored in a tank in your home. This reduces the need for water providers to use a lot of energy to keep all that water clean and safe for long periods of time. And when the tank needs to be replaced, recycling your old water tanks is definitely possible—and is another way rain harvesting is a green endeavour.
Pump and Connection to the House’s Plumbing
A pump and connection to the house’s plumbing are needed if all that stored water is to be used in different parts of the home. At this point, energy will need to be used, but this energy you will be using will reduce the demand for providers to use energy coming from sources that aren’t friendly to the environment to transport water to thousands, even millions, of homes. Therefore, investing in a pump and a way to establish a connection between rainwater harvesting system and your house’s plumbing system is also another way this endeavour is a green endeavour.
Rey Carlos Rosales is a marketing and advertising writer for Rainwater Tanks Direct. When not at work, he takes photos of the strange and weird things he finds. That is, if he is not working on a story or poem at home.