According to Handy, traditionally rainwater harvesting used to be collecting rainwater from the roof. However, modern technological advancements have improved domestic rainwater harvesting by a great deal. Let’s take a deeper dive into rainwater collection systems.
- Basic rainwater collection systems – When you think of rainwater collecting systems, the image of a farm or a village in a developing country may pop up in your head. However, rainwater collection is becoming more viable with modern technological advancements.
The most basic rainwater collection system would be one that collects the rain from the roof and directs it via gutters and downspouts to a barrel or some other storage tank. Since this water is unfiltered and untreated, it can only be used for basic uses like fire suppression, toilet bowl water, or for watering your garden.
- Advanced rainwater collection system – While a basic system works for most homes, a more comprehensive system that doesn’t just collect rainwater from the roof, but from other sources like pavement and walkways through permeable pavers. After that, the water is redirected to an underground storage tank via several layers of filters to filter out dirt, debris, bacteria, and other particulates.
When the storage tank overflows, excess water is redirected to a connected wall to fill up the underground water table. With a complex rainwater collection system, you’ll be able to use filtered water for all kinds of uses including washing your car, and clothes, flushing the toilet, and watering the garden. If you invest a bit more money into the filtration system, the water can be made fit for drinking and cooking.
- Benefits of rainwater collection system – Rainwater is relatively clean and a free source of water. Collecting it can bring down your water bill significantly. Moreover, collecting rainwater with permeable pavers and other such systems helps to reduce the dependency on the local municipality’s water supply and reduces run-off significantly.
This also helps the environment and your garden as it reduces soil erosion and puts less stress on stormwater drains. Moreover, modern rainwater collection systems can be modular and quite flexible in nature. They can be relocated, reconfigured, and expanded according to your needs.
- Importance of rainwater collection – Rainwater collection systems are important for various reasons. However, the most important reason for collecting rainwater is because it helps to stretch out water conservation gains for your home. Since the 1960s, newer designs and advancements in toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washers have allowed for significant water conservation gains.
In the 1960s, 40 gallons of water was used for washing clothes, and now the number is down to 10 gallons. For toilet bowls, the number has been reduced from 6 gallons to just over a gallon for flushing. Since further water conservation would be very difficult, rainwater harvesting is the necessary next step.
Handy suggests that you implement more rainwater collection systems at your home to benefit yourself and the environment. Collecting rainwater helps you to conserve more water and help the environment while bringing down your water bill by a significant margin.