Rainwater Harvesting System Component Articles
This site has hundreds of articles on rainwater harvesting. But where to start? This is the right page for those that want to design and install a system on your own.
How Much Can I Harvest?
Did you know that your home is a potential powerhouse of rainwater catchment? For example, a home of 1,000 square feet can capture over 10,000 gallons of rain a year in an area of moderate rainfalls. This free water can be used to irrigate your garden and lawn, refill your toilets, wash your laundry and many other uses. Use this FREE Site Analyzer tool report tol help you determine how much rainwater your home and lot can potentially catch. Then you can take the next step toward building your own rainwater harvesting system.
Floats - What, When, Where
Floats are the most common and simplest way to control or monitor a rainwater, greywater or blackwater system. They can be thought of as a simple on/off switch, but can do much, much more. Floats are a closed ball with an electrical wire attached. Inside the ball is simply an electrical contact. Floats are typically tethered to something in a tank (i.e. the pump or a pole). These devices float on the fluid in the tank. If there is no liquid, they hang as pictured (i.e. this is typically referred to as float down) If there is liquid in the tank than this device would float on top of the liquid (i.e. referred to as float up). >> more
Where Do I Start?
There are hundreds of parts in a typical-sized rainwater harvesting system. With time and research most aspects of a rain water harvesting system can be figured out. The article and tools it links to will help you get started. >> more
It is such a simple question, but sometimes not an easy question to answer. Fortunately, today there are many varieties of depth gauge options for buried and above ground tanks – from home made to high-end multi-function electronic devices. A quick review on some of the alternatives that are available may help you choose which device is best for your needs. >> more
Bladders - Another Storage Option
The tank is the most expensive component of a rainwater harvesting system. This is true whether the tank is above ground or below ground. Consequently, many people opt to undersize the tank in order to save money. Fortunately, there are alternatives to solid-walled tanks that can reduce the cost of a system.
Conveyance - Simple or Complex
Conveyance, in a rainwater harvesting system (RWH), carries the rain from the roof (i.e. the capture system) to the storage tank (i.e. the holding system). Sounds simple, but it can range from being almost nonexistent to extremely sophisticated and attractive. This article will deal with the simpler solutions.
Floating Filter Intakes
Why worry about where the water in the tank is pulled from? Isn't it all the same? The simple answer is NO. No matter how good your first flush system, if you have one at all, some particulates are going to enter the tank. Eventually, this material will settle on the bottom of the tank. So taking water off the bottom picks up these particulates. Some may be caught by an outgoing filter but this water may also contain heavy metals or chemicals which, at worst, may not always be filtered out and at best, will clog the intake filter faster.
Comparing Storage Options
Storage tanks, usually the most expensive component of the rainwater harvesting system, come in a wide variety of sizes and types. When deciding on the type of tank to use, the main factors to consider include where you live and your budget. When choosing the size of storage tank or cistern, consider several variables: rainwater supply (local precipitation), demand, projected length of dry spells without rain, catchment surface area, aesthetics, personal preference, and of course, your budget.
Pump Systems for Rainwater Catchment
Understanding how water gets from the catchment tank to the faucet can help people on rainwater catchment systems feel more comfortable with their system and be more self-reliant. A normal pump system is composed of a pump, a pressure tank, a pressure switch, and a check valve. These main components all work together automatically to supply pressurized water to your point of use.
Rainwater Harvesting - Pumps or Pressure Tanks
If you are building or planning to install a rainwater collection system, water pressure (i.e. water line pressure) is one of the main issues you need to think about. There one several ways to achieve water pressure when you turn on the faucet. One is gravity. Another is installing a pump to ensure water pressure in your water lines. If gravity does not work for you, you will need to install a pump and there are several options to consider, some new and some old.
Roof Capture Systems
You have decided to invest in a rainwater harvesting system, but where do you start? What questions do you need to answer before you can build the right system to harvest rainwater? Let’s start with learning how much rain you can collect.
A cross connection is a physical link, such as a jumper connection or swivel arrangement, between a potable water supply and a source of contamination. A backflow is a change of pressure in a water pipe that forces water to flow opposite its intended direction, allowing contaminants to enter the potable water system through unprotected cross connections. Cross connections occur around the home as well as in municipal water systems and can involve low-or high-hazard contaminants.
First Flush Devices
What is a First Flush? Is there one perfect type of First Flush device? Where do I put a First Flush on my rainwater catchment system?
First Flush or Rain Diverters, as the name implies, flush off the first water of a storm before it enters the storage tank.