Rainwater: Usage and Benefits

Resource
Woman getting rainwater from storage tank to use for gardening

Website:

Earth is surrounded by 70% water, but only 1% can be used for consumption. With the growing issue regarding global warming and climate change, water scarcity and drought is becoming a serious problem and it already exists in some parts of the world.

We all need to be aware of this problem and do our part in protecting the earth by reducing our water consumption and find different solutions on how we can save water supply and decrease the demand in the future.

In some places, rainwater is sometimes the only supply of water for human consumption and other requirements. As the population continuous to grow, so is our demand for water which makes it all the more important to manage and use water wisely.

What Can Be Done?

Reusing rainwater or stormwater can stipulate a free water supply from any household or businesses which can be recycled in several ways. Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater or stormwater from gutters, roof and storing it for future use.

Rainwater or stormwater can contain toxic pollutants once it hits the surface, with the use of a rainwater harvesting system, the harvested rainwater can produce a clean water for human consumption and offer several benefits.

 

Usage Of Harvested Rainwater

Rainwater that is collected from roofs and stored appropriately represents a sustainable source of water ideal to use inside and outside the home.

Rainwater harvesting is an educational way to realize the water consumption in a household or any business establishments and help start being cautious about the usage.

Here are some uses of rainwater:

  • Drinking water if properly filtered and sanitized
  • Irrigation or sprinkler system
  • Laundry
  • Washing of vehicles
  • Washing of garage or sidewalks
  • Cleaning of toilets
  • Swimming pool refills
  • Fountain or fishpond refills
  • Gardening

Reusing rainwater on laundry, toilet flushing, and garden hosing alone will help decrease the mains water requirement by 70%, hence, reducing water bills and save money.

The Rainwater Harvesting Components

The process of rainwater harvesting system comprises of multiple stages from transporting, filtration to storage.

Components of a rainwater harvesting system includes:

  • Catchments

Catchment area is the surface in which the rainfall directly falls on and receives the water that is being provided to the system. It can be a paved or unpaved area such as an open ground.

  • Coarse mesh

Located at the roof which prevents debris to pass through.

  • Gutters

Gutters are the edges surrounding the roof that helps with collecting and transporting rainwater into the storage tank.

  • Conduits

It is the tube that usually carries rainwater from rooftop or catchment to the harvesting system and usually made of PVC.

  • First flush

A valve that washes away pollutants collected from the rain and ensuring it does not enter the system.

It is used to remove remains of pollutants from the collected rainwater. Generally, there are various types of filters for commercial use such as charcoal filter, sand filters and horizontal roughing filters.

Depending on the area and location, storage tanks differ in sizes, shapes, and material; it can be square, rectangular or cylindrical.

  • Recharge structures

Through recharge structures, rainwater can be charge into groundwater aquifers through any appropriate structures such as dug wells, borewells, trenches or pits.

Rainwater harvesting demonstrates a lot of environmental and economic benefits, from reducing water bills on any household and establishments, to reducing any possibility of local flooding as it decreases stormwater runoff to providing an alternative solution to water supply thereby helping with the growing problem of water crisis in some parts of the world.