With the rains almost here in most parts of India already, it’s the perfect time to try some rainwater harvesting. The first benefit of course is that you can use the free water and re-use it for other chores. The second and most immediate benefit is that you will save a lot on your water expenses, and also prevent water wastage.
So if you’ve decided to become one of the real life planet savers and do your bit towards water reuse and rainwater harvesting, these tips could be of help.
Plan What You’ll Use It For
There is no use hoarding excess rainwater if you don’t have enough use for it, and have to throw it away eventually. To understand how much rainwater you’ll actually use, first check what you can do with it. For instance, you could use it for outdoor cleaning, such as your porch, balcony, terrace, the garage or car spot, cleaning your car, staircase and the like. You could use it to water your plants or garden. You can also use it in your toilet, or if the water is clean, maybe for your laundry.
How Much Will You Need
The amount of rainwater you need depends on the number of members in your home, as well as the number of times you carry out each individual chore. For instance, some families clean their car once a week, while some like to clean the car more frequently. In such a case, the amount of water needed will vary. Understand how much water you need for which chore and how many members will be using the water you will store.
How Much Can You Collect
Rainwater storage barrels are available in different sizes, and you can also create one at home with a basic water barrel. From barrels that are less than a hundred liters in capacity to those that can hold thousands of liters of water, choose yours based on your needs.
Different Ways To Collect Rainwater
Roof Catchment – Your roofing material can determine how much water you’ll actually be able to collect. For instance, if your roof is made of clay or concrete tiles or wood or asbestos shingles, it will soak up the water and reduce the amount you actually collect. Materials such as steel will help more water flow freely and will increase the collected amount.
Conveyance Network – The rain water conveyance network is a type of plumbing that will help to collect the rain water in the tank and then supply it to various exit points through the house.
Water Storage Tanks – Depending on where you live, you can place the tanks above the ground or below, inside or outside your home, on the roof or in your balcony. If you want something that is durable, lightweight, can be used both above and below the ground and comes in different sizes, you could opt for ones that are made with polyethylene or polypropylene. If you want something to be permanently installed below the ground, you can opt for a concrete water tank. Other options are galvanized steel ones which are less costly but can be used only above ground, stainless steel ones which are costlier and can only be used above ground and fiberglass ones which can be used both above and below ground.
How To Care For Your Rainwater Harvesting System
Once you’ve installed the rainwater harvesting system, it has to be maintained as well. An overflow pipe will prevent damage caused by overflowing. If you live in a cool climate and are installing the tank below the ground, install the components below the frost line. If you have installed a seasonal system, drain off the remaining water at the end of the period. If your plumbing network has a chance of the rainwater getting mixed up with the drinking water pipe, use a backflow prevention device to prevent the same. Your plumber will be able to help you on this.
These are some basic tips that will help you when you plan to start rainwater harvesting. We’ll tell you more about placing the storage containers, measures you should take to ensure the water stays clean, whether or not you need to disinfect the water and more such tips in a different article.
Till then fellow planet savers, let us know if you’ve done any rainwater harvesting yourself and what tips you’d like to share.
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