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Rainwater Harvesting

Category: Systems of interest March 29th, 2007 by mbc

Rainwater harvesting is one of those simple concepts that reminds us of old-fashioned sensibilities. Basically, it entails the collection of the rainwater that falls onto a roof, the storage of that water and its utilisation for domestic purposes.

The water is collected by normal roof gutters then passed through a filter to remove dirt, leaves and other debris picked up from the roof, gutters or down pipes. The filtered water passes into a storage tank.

Filtering is an important part of the process as any decaying organic material that remains in the water will consume oxygen through microbial action possibly making the water putrid. The storage tank should be sized to ensure occasional overflow. This will have the effect of skimming floating organic material from the surface of the water. Heavy particles will fall to the bottom of the tank where they will form a negligible layer.

Water is pumped from the tank by means of a submersible pump with a floating filter, thereby drawing the cleanest water from just beneath the surface of the water.

A mains water connection is also necessary to provide a top-up as and when required.

The harvested water can be put to many purposes. Through filtration it is particle free and is suitable for most domestic applications ~ toilet flushing, clothes washing and garden usage. Under certain circumstances it may also be suitable for human consumption although the water will require analysis and further filtration, pH correction or UV sterilisation may be required.

System maintenance is minimal, the filter will need to be cleaned 4-6 times a year. More complex systems that utilise pH balancing or UV systems will need additional maintenance.

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Posted in Systems of interest | 3 Comments » « Leave Yours

3 Responses

  1. Mike Says:

    I enjoyed looking around your site. Well done and good luck with your build. I have done something very similar as you can see from my website….uncanny just how similar!

    You will have something to be very proud of when you complete


  2. janzbro Says:

    so mike what is your website – dont be shy !

    mbc – what size water tank did you fit, where did you fit it (buried?) – could it also be used for shower / bathing water and pumbed into the hot water system?

    ps this ReCAPTCHA is a pain for every comment

  3. mbc Says:

    Sorry about the ReCAPTCHA I need to find a new solution – it doesn’t even stop that much spam!

    I didn’t actually get around to RH infact… yet another good intention fallen by the wayside…

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