The installation of a rainwater harvesting system in your home is relatively simple. It is a less costly alternative and only requires the mastery of a few basic techniques related to the tank’s volume, pump, filter or location. You can then use the collected water for several purposes: watering, laundry, sanitary purposes or even for supplying the entire household.

Recovering rainwater greatly reduces your water bill. You can, for example, use this water for irrigation or for laundry. Also, with climate change, periods of drought are longer and harsher. The storage of rainwater then becomes particularly important.

Fundamentals before installing a rainwater harvesting system

Before installing a rainwater harvesting system, it is essential to determine the volume of the tank that will accompany it. For this purpose, several parameters must be taken into account. These include, among others, the rainfall rate, the roof’s slope and surface area and the system’s location. These data allow to assess the water volume and choose the appropriate rainwater harvesting system accordingly.

It is also essential to have an estimate of your water needs. These data will also be taken into account when choosing the tank. In general, if one seeks to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply, plan for a 2650 to 4000 gal (10 to 15m3) tank. However, such capacity is not commercially available. Rest assured, all you need to do is just go about it in advance and order from a specialist. And if you prefer a simple and moderate installation, a capacity of 800 to 1050 gal (3 to 4 m3) is perfect.

Another question: what kind of tank are you looking for? Several varieties are available on the market: made of polyethylene or concrete, or in the shape of squares, rectangles or cylinders. Each model has its own advantages. But know that polyethylene tanks are valued for their ease of transport and those in concrete for the stability they bring to the water’s pH. Concerning the shapes, the cylindrical tank is recommended because it prevents the formation of bacteria nests.

The installation of a rainwater harvesting system

The installation of a rainwater harvesting system also passes through the choice of location. This should be a flat and stable surface that can support the weight of the installation when the tank is full. Then there is installing the water catchment. To do this, connect the gutters to the system, taking care to set up a pre-filtration system. This process and simply an initial filtration to retain the twigs, leaves and other particles that can affect the quality of the collected water. Most of the materials available in the trade have a more elaborate filtering system. This ensures even more the quality of the stored water.

Once this first step is successfully completed, install the recovery pump to ensure the supply of water. The choice of pumps is vast. You can choose, among others, submersible pumps, those with integrated filtering, surface pumps, suppressor groups and groups of which the control is automatic and the installation instructions relatively easy to follow. However, each model has its advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you to make your choice according to your needs. And, finally, you will only need to entire system to the house’s water circuit (toilets, washing machines, watering, etc.).

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Published in Watering by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011