There is a new water collection system that is sustainable and viable even for regular households. Some places around the world have adapted this water collection system as part of their daily lifestyle. Countries such as Germany and Australia consider rainwater harvesting as the norm. Rainwater harvesting has become an option for water supply in households and businesses.
Everyone is going green nowadays. With the green movement, rainwater harvesting will soon be the norm in America as well. Before you consider this water supply system for your home, let us define what it is.
What is rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater for household or business consumption. One only needs to capture rainwater falling on one’s roof and lead it into a rainwater storage tank.
This water supply system can be configured depending on your household needs. Having this system in your household can solve the water scarcity concern of most places. In the urban setting wherein buildings lead rainwater into sewer systems, rainwater harvesting can be an effective way to conserve this precious resource.
The rainwater harvesting system did not begin with complex technology. Harvesting rainwater can mean collecting and storing rainwater in barrels. This has evolved to complex systems such as utilizing gutters, pumps, tanks, and purification systems. Though rainwater is non-potable, technology has evolved that even rainwater can be purified for consumption.
By having a rainwater supply at hand, the demand for freshwater for non-potable functions tends to decrease. This will allow the conservation of potable water for human consumption.
Is rainwater harvesting suitable for your home?
In considering harvesting rainwater, make sure you are prepared for the maintenance. Before you install your rainwater harvesting system, you need to check your water pipes for leakage that could result in unnecessary costs in the long run.
Apart from this, you should also consider if you are willing to put in regular maintenance effort. Rainwater harvesting systems are prone to algae growth and pest infestation. It is important to conduct preventive measures on this by doing regular maintenance. Even if you will be using rainwater for non-potable functions, it is best to keep the water at its best quality.
During winter, you would also need to prevent your rainwater harvesting system from freezing. You can choose either to build around your system to protect it from the cold, or you can also opt to empty your tank during winter.
Regularly remove any debris and build-ups from your gutters and pipes to ensure your water is clean and algae-free.
Having a rainwater harvesting system may reduce your water bills significantly. Before installing anything, though, you must first check with your state’s laws and local community guidelines regarding rainwater harvesting and if they have implemented certain regulations on this. If there is none and you are all cleared, then you are good to go.
How to Start Harvesting Rainwater
As mentioned, before going all green with your lifestyle, make sure your pipes are well-maintained. You might want to consider seamless gutters installation before getting a rainwater harvesting system. By getting a new gutter system, you will ensure that no leaks will be left to affect your new water collection system.
The simplest and most affordable way to harvest rainwater is to have a rain barrel system. You need only place barrels or water tanks under the downspout of your gutter system, and you will be collecting rainwater in no time.
A dry system involves a large container for water, which will be placed meters away from your property. With the dry system, though, your gutter system will have to be redesigned to direct water to a large storage tank.
Lastly, there is the wet system. With this type of rainwater harvesting system, many collection pipes will have to be connected to the downspouts. The water will be directed to a storage tank located underground.
Whatever system you choose for your residence, you will have to keep your system debris-free by installing a screen or a filter in your water collection system.
Going green with your lifestyle at home can be an exciting venture. Being environmentally-friendly is a good trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. There are many things at home that you can consider changing or altering to conserve more water and energy. Considering installing a rainwater harvesting system is only the beginning of a sustainable journey.