6 Lessons Learned: Rainwater

A Guide to Rainwater Conservation

Supplementing water used in the various setting through rainwater harvesting including agriculture, household and domestic use, commercial and industrial uses is important. The mainly practiced rainwater harvesting is the rooftop water collection for various uses where water is collected in tanks. Rainwater harvesting is important as it helps collect water for later use mostly when there is scarcity as well as enhancing one’s self-sufficiency. Rainwater harvesting for various uses has some implication in economics mostly when water generally used is charges and also environmental in enhancing conservation. Gutters are important in rainwater harvesting as they collect the rainwater and direct it to a collection point.

Rainwater harvested is usually stored in rainwater tanks which are made of various types of materials. The various materials used in the making of the rainwater tanks includes plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminum metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction. Factors affecting the choice of a rainwater tank includes affordabilitily as well as the durability. Concrete rainwater tanks are usually more durable than the other tanks although rainwater tanks more preferred are those made of plastic materials. The rainwater tanks can be placed on the ground surface to collect the rainwater, or they can be placed underground. Underground water tanks usually require that the water be pumped from the tanks since they cannot be fitted with a valve or a water tap.

Covering of the rainwater tanks is important leaving only the entry point for the water pipe so as to avoid entry of unwanted materials into the rainwater tank such as leaves or even animals. Plastic rainwater tanks are more preferred since they are readily available and come in different sizes according to one’s specification. Algae growth is common when plastic tanks are placed on the ground hence should be placed on a surface that keeps away algae such as concrete. Solar radiation exposure reduces the lifetime of plastic tanks hence should be placed in places where there is little or no direct sunlight. Other materials using in making rainwater tanks have their shortcoming mostly in releasing contaminants to the harvested water hence safety precaution measures should be put in place to minimize contamination.

Sterilization of harvested rainwater is important to make it safe for human consumption. This is because there are so many contaminants that settle on the rooftop and ones it rains they usually find themselves into the water. Contaminants can be removed through chlorination or filtration of the harvested rainwater. Preferred method is usually chlorination since it is affordable and also effective in water sterilization. Loads of contaminants usually settle on the rooftop hence it is important to ensure that water is not harvested during the first rain so that the contaminants cannot find their way into the rainwater tank.

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