A guide to Rainwater Harvesting

Water is too precious to be wasted in any capacity. Despite being a renewable resource, the issues regarding the depletion of drinking water sources still hover above our heads, questioning our resource-handling abilities. Drinking water scarcity is a grave concern for India since we house more than 18% of the world’s population. 

Isn’t it ironic how deep our country gets soaked during the heavy showers of the monsoon and still leave a considerable portion of people to struggle for safe drinking water? Oh yes, the governments and civil society are on the move, taking conscious and collective efforts to resolve this issue, but would that be enough? Shouldn’t we be a part of it, too, by contributing our individual shares to the process? If you don’t know where to start and what to do, go through our blog and get an insight on the most feasible water-saving method, rainwater harvesting

The ultimate solution for the water crisis

Rainwater conservation and surface water recharge are two key processes that could go a long way in tackling the challenges of water scarcity. Rainwater harvesting is very much a simple concept, and most of us have at least a vague understanding of it. By establishing a simple/complex rainwater harvesting system at houses, we can easily overcome the water shortage and thereby save our planet from turning into a desert. 

Ensuring the participation of the masses is the tallest hurdle in the execution of this process. For those who wonder if it is worth all the efforts, please note this: a typical home rooftop can collect more than 1500 litres from ½-inch of rain. That is around 26000 litres for an average of 8-inches of rain a year. Now you know what the fuss was all about! Several strategies for harvesting rainwater are possible, like surface runoff harvesting and rooftop rainwater harvesting, which you can opt according to your budget. You can go for a simple harvesting system that collects surface runoff in rain barrels for irrigation purposes, or you can employ a complex system that may include cisterns, pumps, and delivery systems. 

How to Install

It is common knowledge that rain is the purest source of freshwater since it is naturally distilled through the evaporation process. Planning and implementation of the system before the advent of rain can be the right way to go about things. 

Let’s begin with the catchment areas first.

Catchments are open spaces that receive the rainfall directly, such as the roof, terrace, lawn, courtyard, paved/unpaved ground, etc. from where the water is transported to the rainwater storage containers through pipes. Clean all these spots thoroughly by the end of the dry season. You must install First flush diverters at the outlets of each drainpipe to flush out the water of the first shower, which might contain the pollutants in the air. 

Cover each drain with wire mesh so that the debris like leaf litter won’t be collected in the gutters that run the entire perimeter of the roof. The flow of water continues from there through the spouting and downpipes. Debris diverters/pre tank filters can be positioned on the way to restrict the entry of floating materials from gutters to the containment tanks.

The water thus obtained is made to pass through the Filter Unit, which carries out the comprehensive filtration process for ensuring the purity of water. A typical filter unit consists of a chamber filled with several layers of filter media, such as gravel, sand, and charcoal, each separated by wire mesh. The gravel filters the pollutants of greater sizes; while sand prevents the entry of smaller dirt and the charcoal layer can absorb unhealthy impurities and bad odour of the water. Finally, the purified water is channelled to the rainwater recharge structures. The harvesting system can fail if there is an absence of a proper filter mechanism

How to Use

Usually, the filtered water is collected in sump/ rain barrels (above the ground) or cisterns (below the ground), to use for various household purposes, with the help of a pump set. If you intend to direct this water to recharge tube wells, dug wells, recharge trenches, percolation pits, etc. that can be arranged as well during installation.

The harvested water is ideal for toilet flushing, clothes washing, bathing or showering and garden irrigation, vehicle, yard and household cleaning. Or we can say, the water is fit for almost all household activities except human consumption. Because rainwater is only as clean as the container. Plus, the water can pick up microorganisms on their way. But it is safe to drink once you boil it.

How to Maintain

Maintenance is a must for any system, whether simple or complex, to function smoothly and deliver you with good quality water. Keep tabs on the following to keep your harvesting system intact. 

  • Watch out for the bird droppings on the catchments. 
  • Check the filters frequently to avoid sludge accumulation. 
  • Keep the tanks well-closed/sealed to block the entry of animals and insects.
  • Make sure there are no punctures and leakages in the system.

The harvesting method described here comes somewhat between the simple and complex system. You can add more accessories to the system as per your requirements.

Conclusion

Don’t turn your back on these rare opportunities to save water. Because thousands are dying without having a single drop of water to wet their dry throats. 

Setting up a rainwater harvesting system can be laborious, but in the end, it will be worth it. Visit Ocean Polymer Technologies and set up an effective Rainwater Harvesting system at your homes. 

6 Comments:

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