Rainwater harvesting used to be a fairly straightfoward process—you just needed a clean plastic or wooden barrel, which you need to place under a downspout. Eventually, as technology advanced, the endeavour became more complex, and today, it involves not just any container, not just any catchment area, and not just any gutter and downspout.
You need a quality water storage tank, an unpainted metal roof, and an easy-to-clean downspout and gutter. These and other essential components need to be properly installed and assembled so you can get all the benefits of a rainwater harvesting system.
Upon having assembled all the important components of the system, you should be able to reap all the benefits of having a rainwater harvesting system assembled in your home. However, to ensure that you 100% reap each of the benefits of a rainwater collection system, there are a number of Frequently Asked Questions (and their respective answers) that you should be aware of. These are highlighted below.
1. Why must I collect rainwater?
In an age when many utility companies nowadays are supplying clean and safe water to numerous regions of different countries, collecting rainwater doesn’t seem necessary. Unfortunately, there will always be the chance that a utility company will be unable to deliver the needed amount of water to a locality for any number or combination of reasons. Some common reasons why water providers will be unable to provide water include drought and machinery maintenance.
There’s also the fact that a homeowner needs to pay a utility company for use of the water delivered to a residence, and water pumped to homes by a utility provider can be quite expensive. With rainwater harvesting, homeowners can save a significant sum on water.
2. Is a pump required in rainwater harvesting?
A pump is needed in a rainwater harvesting system for two reasons: the ease of use of collected rainwater and ensuring the even distribution of collected rainwater across a house’s plumbing.
3. How else can I increase the pressure in the plumbing?
You can raise the tank or barrel. Each foot raised increases pressure by about 0.433 psi or even less, primarily due to pressure loss caused by friction. Therefore, generally speaking, it takes just a few feet for a hose to be used, but a higher elevation is needed to make a sprinkler function properly.
4. What’s the big deal with an unpainted metal roof?
The unpainted metal roof is considered as one of the best catchment materials for a rainwater harvesting system simply because its surface does not absorb the drops of rain that fall upon it. Other amazing catchment materials include concrete and asphalt, which, like unpainted metal, do not absorb the drops of rain that fall on them.
An unpainted metal roof, like concrete, does not have surface contaminants that can compromise the quality of stored rainwater. And it will not have any surface contaminants if you maintain its cleanliness.
5. How can ice buildup on gutters be prevented?
The best way to prevent ice buildup is the proper use of a roof scraper or de-icing cable as needed.