Rainwater Harvesting System: How Does it Work?

27 July 2018

Rainwater harvesting systems are designed to collect and store what would otherwise escape into a drainage system. Yes, drains are essential, but we don’t want all of the runoff to slip away. Imagine a heavy storm in a desert community. The streets are afloat in floodwater. However, after the water drains, the town is dry again. We need a proportional response, a collection mechanism that works with the drains.

A Rainwater Collection Solution

To review, they’re the catchment units that collect rainwater throughout infrastructure-regulated land parcels. They’re built as small garden barrels, as rooftop tanks, and in many other man-made forms. When the rain falls, the water runs down rooftops and other collection surfaces, but it doesn’t escape. Redirected by human intervention, the water courses off in another direction. The now dirty fluid fills a series of storage tanks. But the process isn’t finished yet, not until the water is clean.

Processing the Harvested Water

The rooftop tanks and ground barrels are working at full tilt. Elsewhere, underground catchments are using pumps and valves to regulate water intake. The gutters and downspouts have done their job by redirecting the downfall, but that water is dirty. It passed over rooftops, surfaces covered in bird droppings, and it’s also carrying tiny bits of debris. The process needs more work. First of all, we need a first flush cistern, a fitting that diverts the initial downpour. Then there are filters to install in the line, valves and pumps to fit, and much more before the project can discharge drinkable water.

Issues Addressed by a Technical Services Agency

Gravity-fed or electric pump, which mechanism best suits each unique circumstance? Is hygiene still a problem, even with all the above measures properly introduced? Mosquitos breed in standing water. Sealed tops and nets stop this hazard from taking place, plus they work well as evaporative protection devices. Leaf traps and ultraviolet filters, calculating tank volumes and frost protection solutions, all of these system-impacting influences require the services of a top-notch technical planning company. Otherwise, the system won’t be optimized. Worse yet, an improperly installed rainwater harvesting system could become a breeding ground for mosquitos and other water-loving lifeforms.

While the basic concept is simple, the application is harder to manage. Granted, we just want to save a little water for a non-rainy day, but it takes great technical know-how to pull-off that goal. The equipment needs a drive mechanism, gravity or man-made, plus protection from numerous outer variables. Then, after the storage tanks are in place, the system also requires a cleaning device, all the better to assure a safe and hygienic supply of drinking water.

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