Rainwater harvesting involves collecting runoff from a structure or other impervious surface to store it for later use. Traditionally, it involves collecting rain from the roof. The water is collected in gutters that direct the water to downspouts and then to some sort of storage tank
Rainwater harvesting systems can be as simple as collecting rain in a rain barrel or as complex as collecting it into large cisterns to meet the needs of an entire household. The idea of rainwater harvesting usually evokes images of an old farm cistern or thoughts of developing countries. In reality, rainwater harvesting is becoming a viable alternative for supplying our households and businesses with water
In many countries, such as Germany and Australia, rainwater harvesting is the norm. Because of the green building movement, you will see rainwater harvesting systems becoming more popular in America. Rainwater harvesting is known by many names around the world
Rainwater harvesting is a viable technology in urban environments. To take advantage of this resource, all you have to do is catch the free water falling on your roof and direct it to a rainwater harvesting tank. This way, you can take control of your supply and replace all or at least a significant portion of your demand. Rainwater harvesting systems can be configured to meet the needs of an entire home or area
Basically, you can use rainwater wherever you use the one from your tap. The idea of using potable water to flush toilets and water lawns is wasteful and irresponsible, especially in light of population growth and water shortages around the world. Rainwater harvesting is a technique for greening your home and reducing your environmental impact. There are basically three areas where rainwater can be used: irrigation, indoors (such as for cleaning), and as a drinking liquid. Here are some ideas for specific uses of rainwater: Watering the lawn and garden, connecting a rainwater harvesting system to an irrigation/sprinkler system, vehicle washing, pet washing, fountains and fish ponds, swimming pools.
Replace tap water with rainwater for washing driveways and sidewalks. Use it for all indoor appliances (toilets and washing machine) and for all drinking needs when properly filtered and disinfected.
Using rain barrels to collect rainwater is probably the most popular method. You can find rain barrels at your local store, online, or you can build one yourself. They are made of plastic and come in different sizes. If you happen to experience a fair amount of rainfall, choose a large barrel and make sure the top has a cover on it to keep out mosquitoes, animals and children.
Place rain barrels just below the outlets in your gutters. This will allow water running off the roof to get into the container. The great thing about rain barrels is that they have a faucet on the bottom so the rainwater can drain out. Simply fill smaller containers or connect a hose to the faucet.
You can also install a rainwater harvesting system, or more specifically, concrete rainwater tanks that are buried underground. When it rains, the water is directed to the tanks, and when you need to use it, there is a filter and a pump that pumps the water out for your use. This type is much more expensive and will need to be installed by a professional.
You can collect rainwater the natural way by using things you already have around the house such as buckets, pool, watering cans, etc. Just let them fill up with rainwater and use it in no time.
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