Fresh water is a very precious substance. Most people have never thought about it in that way (because there weren’t any significant shortages YET), but it’s perhaps even more precious than oil or gold. Why? Because without it, there wouldn’t be any life on our planet. We need fresh water in order to survive. You can’t drink oil, gold, diamonds or money; you NEED fresh water. Water (especially fresh), is the blood of our planet. Without water it wouldn’t matter if you had all the money in the world. It would be irrelevant, because you’d die of dehydration.
For these reasons, we must use water rationally and keep it for future generations and other living beings on our planet. One of the best ways to do that is to start from your own household. How? Well, buy some type of a water container and start harvesting rainwater. There are many advantages and virtually no downsides. Rainwater is great! Especially for the laundry, because it contains no minerals or calcium carbonate which damages all household appliances that have to heat water. For these reasons, rainwater is also called a soft water, and using soft water to wash your clothes will enable you to save on detergent (up to 50%).
Rainwater is also chemically cleaner than groundwater, because it contains no herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals or lead.
- Irrigation (lawn, garden, agricultural crops)
- Washing your clothes, running the dishwasher as well as for showering and bathing
- Flush water for toilets (a toilet is the single largest consumer of water in an average household, because a flush toilet consumes about one third of a household’s overall water consumption)
Rainwater solutions mostly refer to rainwater containers and filtration systems used to accumulate, store and purify the rainwater. A typical rainwater harvesting system is made of several key components.
- Rainfall capturing area ( a sloping roof, courtyard, terrace or any other surface that can collect a large amount of water and send it to the system)
- Coarse mesh (filters out any unwanted debris on the roof)
- Gutters (gutters are channels that go along the entire length of the roof and transport the water from the rainwater capturing area to the container)
- Conduits (various pipes that transport the rainwater from the catchment to the harvesting system)
- First flushing valve (a device used to get rid of the first spell of rain, as it is polluted)
- Filter (Used to remove mechanical and chemical pollutants from rainwater before it enters the storage tank. The simplest ones are often made of multiple layers of gravel, sand and charcoal)
- Rainwater storage
Storage tanks can be square, cylindrical or rectangular. They’re usually made of PVC, galvanized sheets or reinforced cement concrete. These tanks can be placed completely underground, partially underground or above the ground.
There are several types of containers currently available on the market:
Rainwater barrels (the smallest containers which can be easily attached to your home’s existing downspout) and rainwater cisterns – a large containers which can store as much as 1000 gallons of rainwater.
Rainwater solutions and harvesting systems are absolutely great, because they allow you to save on your water bill and respect the nature. As the fall is coming, so are the storms. This could be a good time to clean drains and start to harvest stormwater. Mother nature doesn’t charge you a dime.