To DIY or not DIY
If you’re reading this post, it probably means that you aren’t afraid to dive into projects head-on, and I think that is awesome. The ability to be self-reliant is one of the benefits of rainwater harvesting, so we are all on board for that!
The question being proposed today is should someone try to design and install a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for their home on their own?
I hope to give some insight on this matter.
The New Rainwater Harvesting
You might recall your grandmother telling you about the old rain cistern that they had grown up on the farm, they would use it to feed the animals and wash down the farm equipment.
Rainwater harvesting has come a long way since then.
Today, rainwater harvesting can be your very own private water utility that provides your home with all the water you and your family need. It can be used for drinking, washing, bathing, cooking, and whatever else you water for.
It gives you the ability to take control of your water. There is no worry of the chemicals in your water or other harmful contaminants that are found in public water supplies.
Today’s technology allows for purification so that 100% safe water is easily accessible. Pumps and other controls provide high-pressure and knowledge about your water system.
Rainwater harvesting today is an intelligent and viable option for the whole-house water supply.
The Appeal of DIY Rainwater Harvesting
If the idea of building a rainwater harvesting system on your own sounds appealing to you, I understand! Especially if you think of rainwater harvesting as a slightly larger version of a single downspout rain barrel, it can be easy to make to the assumption that it would be an easy project. A project that you could save money and make it just how you want it if you do it yourself.
Allow me to bring up a few points that may clear some fog on this.
The Reality of DIY Rainwater Harvesting
Doing it yourself may not be the best option. There is a lot to consider with rainwater harvesting, and it is much more than just a rain barrel and gravity system if you want to use it as your whole-house water supply.
Starting from the early stages of designing your home, rainwater harvesting can be considered.
Moving then to the design phase of the actual rainwater harvesting system, which involves calculations of rainfall, system efficiency, house size, water demand, household members, water travel, roof type, guttering, downspouts, conveyance, pre-filtration, pumps, controls specs, storage type, storage location, penetrations, overflow, components, wiring, codes, regulations, signal cables, and filtration are some of the points of consideration in the design phase of each rainwater harvesting system.
We have never seen a DIY system that provided adequate pressure, supplied enough water, and was functional long-term. It almost never happens. And if this is going to be the water that supplies your entire home and family, it’s important to make sure it is perfect.
Professional Rainwater Harvesting
What remains true is that you want to take control of your water, hiring a professional rainwater harvesting expert gives you the ability to see every single step of the rainwater harvesting process. From the moment it lands on your roof till it is coming out of your faucet, you can know exactly what is taking place, and that it is right.
When hiring a rainwater harvesting professional, make sure they are turnkey system providers. That includes design, components, build, installation, and startup. Most problems occur when part of the system is handled by one party, and then another by another party.
Many DIYers or so-called professionals will look at the system process and try to skip a step or cut corners, the moment this takes place, the integrity of your rainwater harvesting system just crumbled. Every step is critical.
You should expect excellent water with no odor, color, or particles of any kind. The water should be fresh and healthy. You should expect perfect water at every faucet all the time.
What Rainwater Harvesting ISN’T
When we tell people about rainwater harvesting, it’s rare that they assume the water is used for anything except irrigation. But we are talking about rainwater as a primary water source for the entire home, drinking, washing, bathing, AND irrigation.
We’re not in the business of rain barrels and cisterns, although we commend those who use them, because we are all about water conservation.
The Life of a Rain Harvester
Rain harvesters are revolutionaries. Game-changers. Outside-thinkers. They take a different approach to the normal.
And yet, rain harvesters live like normal 21st century Americans. When they turn on the faucet, water flows without a worry. When they’re thirsty, they drink from the tap. The only difference is, the water they are using is rain that fell on their rooftop. The only difference is, the water they are drinking is pure and rid of chemicals and other contaminants. The only difference is, the water is naturally fresh, soft, and pure. The only difference is, that they have taken full control of their water supply.
The only difference is, they are rain harvesters.