Rainwater harvesting involves collecting runoff from a building or an impervious surface, after which it's stored for later use. The fundamental idea of rainwater harvesting is an ancient practice, but modern advancements in technology and design expand its capabilities.
It helps in water conservation and provides a backup source when water is scarce. Also, it's an environmentally friendly practice that gives homeowners control over their water supply.
In this article, we will discuss the stages of successful rainwater harvesting system design and its benefits. Keep reading;
Why You Should Have a Good Rainwater Harvesting System Design
1. You can collect adequate water that's free of chemicals
Unlike municipal water sources, rainwater is a natural resource free of hard minerals and chemicals like chlorine. Therefore, it can be used as a home's primary water source. You only need a successful design to direct the water into an impervious surface during rainy months. A municipal water supply can serve as a backup if unsure about using rainwater harvesting as a sole source.
2. It's cost-effective
A good rainwater harvesting system design can help you save money. That's because you won't have to pay inflated water bills if rainwater is your primary water source. Actually, you will witness the cost benefits of a rainwater harvesting system, especially if you have a big family with a high water usage rate.
3. Prevents water from being wasted as runoff
An excellent rainwater harvesting system helps save water for later use. It ensures that rainwater, a rich natural resource, does not end up in the sewerage or gets wasted.
4. Easy to maintain and long-lasting
A good design leaves room for periodic maintenance, scaling of the structure, and cleaning. Besides, if installed by a professional, it can last for years with minimal maintenance.
Components of Rainwater Harvesting System Design
There are various ways of collecting rainwater, from simple to complex systems. With an effective system, you'll collect quality water- the water should be odorless, tasteless, and clear.
When deciding on a rainwater harvesting system design, keep in mind that the best design should meet your home's supply and demand. Consider such things as sq. ft. roof surface meant to collect the rainwater, monthly and annual rainfall in your area, and the amount of storage that's enough to supply your entire household with water.
Below are must-have components of a good rainwater harvesting system design.
1. Collection area
This is the roof, which is the primary component. It's impossible to collect rainwater without the roof since it's the contact point for the rain. Besides, the amount of water you harvest will depend on your roof's surface. The roof is an excellent catchment area since the contaminants present are fewer and can easily be filtered and eliminated.
2. Conveyance system
A conveyance system refers to gutters and downspouts. You can only catch the water falling on your roof using gutters. You need a professional installer to fix the right piping and drains to direct the water on your roof to the tank without carrying debris.
3. Pre-storage filtration
Before the water enters the tank, it passes through a pre-storage filter. The pre-filter severs two purposes which include filtration and oxygenation.
- Filtration- Although the roof does not contain a lot of debris, it still has pollutants such as bird droppings, tree leaves, dust, and more. All roof pollutants that pass through the conveyance are filtered out at this stage.
- Oxygenation- As the rainwater passes via a filter, the water gets highly oxygenated, which helps to keep it fresh. Modern water filters used are highly effective, and most are equipped with a metal mesh filter- it's filtered via centrifugal force or gravity-fed. You don't have to replace these filters. Instead, clean them at least 2-4 times annually.
4. Entering storage
After the rainwater is subjected through the pre-storage filtration stage, it's directed into the tank. A healthy microbiological layer formed at the foot of the tank, commonly referred to as biofilm, helps maintain water freshness. The water passes through a smoothing pipe to ensure that the microbiological layer isn't disrupted when entering the tank. The water enters the tank in an ascending motion.
5. Water storage
You can store rainwater above the ground, underground, or bury it partially. Partially buried or above the ground storage options are cost-effective. The good thing about below-ground storage is that it can be located out of sight and fit perfectly with your landscape design. Nevertheless, the excavation cost will increase the overall cost. Be sure to select a high-quality tank that's meant for potable water use and U.V resistant.
6. Groundwater recharge
Once your storage fills to the brim, it should be directed outside using an overflow device without contaminating the water inside the tank. The overflow water can be directed into a pond, water trough, or an underground recharge.
An effective rainwater harvesting system must include a pump. The pump should be fixed inside your water storage tank. Through the pump, the water is sent from the storage device and directed to the filtration system. For effective results, use a top-quality pump. But in case the pump gets damaged, replace it to avoid inconveniences. Note that fixing your water pump is a simple task as it's easily accessible.
8. The outlet and distribution system
The water is then pumped back to the house and tied into the filtration system, which feeds into the home's plumbing distribution.
9. Filtration and controls
The water is subjected to three filtration and disinfection stages to ensure that it's 100 percent safe for use. The first stage involves passing it through a sediment filter to eliminate any remaining particles. It's then passed through a carbon filter to improve water taste and keep it fresh.
The water is then passed via an ultraviolet disinfection system to kill any bacteria present in the water. These filters need to be replaced at least once a year.
10. Ready for use
The rainwater has reached the last stage of the water collection process, and it can now serve all your household water needs.
If it's a challenge accessing regular water supplies within your area, take advantage of the above rainwater harvesting system design. But you will need professional help to implement a successful design. For residents within Knoxville, TN, Nashville, TN, and Asheville, NC, PerfectWater's experts will have your back. We offer customized water solutions to ensure that you are in control of your water.