Collecting rainwater or the process now known as ‘rainwater harvesting’ is a basic and effective method of sourcing water, practiced most commonly for domestic consumption, apt for use even on a small-scale with a no need for any distinct ability or skill. Rainwater harvesting is one approach to minimalizing domestic mains water use.
Rainwater harvesting delivers numerous advantages, not just in rural areas but to urban dwellings as well. Primarily, rainwater is accumulated through your roof gutters and transported to storages called water tanks, supplying free water when your normally supply is limited. Collected rainwater is an excellent solution when there are water restrictions, droughts during summer months or during rainy days when surface water is polluted. The technology is adaptable and flexible to a very wide range of situations and has been embraced in many countries for answering water sustainability.
Basic Design Principle:
A rainwater harvesting system consists of, at least, the following elements:
- Rain water/Rainfall
- Catchment Surface – occasionally referred to as the roof area that collects rainwater
- Delivery System – generally carries the water from the roof to the storage device (these are your roof gutters)
- Storages – water tanks, barrels, plastic containers, old oil drums and/or ceramic jars that keep and accumulate collected water for future use
- Extraction Unit – devices used to obtain water from storages, can be a rope and bucket, a tap, pump, or an infiltration device. This component is actually dependent to the kind of storages you are using and where your storages are placed.
Moreover, there is also a wide array of applications to treat water either before, during and/or after storage.
LARGE SCALE APPLICATION
Most will find that there is almost endless range of options for storing rainwater. Popular and frequent mediums used for small –scale water storage can range from buckets, plastic bowls, old oil drums or ceramic jars. For larger volumes however, the system will require a tank above or below ground that can vary in size. For domestic systems, volumes are typically up to a maximum of 20 or 30 cubic meters.
Surface tanks are most common applications for roof collection. Above ground collection is certainly an interesting design principle for residential projects as it does not involve excavation, but with size constraints depending on free surface area availability. And yet it is always a challenge to find a location for larger tanks.
Larger above ground tanks are most applied in the rural regions, though today, the urban environment can embrace this technology as tank manufacturers find ways to adopt surface tanks in the urban living. Slimline tanks are now distributed to cater this need. And just like the usual above ground storages, slimlines do not reduce the amount of storage you might need. The urban also have solutions for underground rainwater harvesting through under-deck tanks, ideal for scaled down courtyards and excellent for households with a minimal roof space.
The initial focus for large scale rainwater harvesting is always to determine a diverse substantial rainwater harvesting structure as well as to find the most beneficial combination of considerable easy-to-capture roof areas, a proper tank location, and a solution to deal with residual overflows.
Large rainwater harvesting strategies can certainly deliver an important and noteworthy participation to help remedy the water crisis not only domestically, but can extend commercially, industrially and to the world.