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Reilys-House_Cave-Creek_rain-water-harvester

 

 
 Rainwater harvestingIs the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. Its uses include water for garden, water for livestock, water for irrigation, water for domestic use with proper treatment, and indoor heating for houses etc. In many places the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation. The harvested water can be used as drinking water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation.

Advantages

Rainwater harvesting provides an independent water supply during regional water restrictions and in developed countries is often used to supplement the main supply. It provides water when there is a drought, can help mitigate flooding of low-lying areas, and reduces demand on wells which may enable ground water levels to be sustained. It also helps in the availability of potable water as rainwater is substantially free of salinity and other salts. Application of rainwater harvesting in urban water system provides a substantial benefit for both water supply and waste water subsystems by reducing the need for clean water in water distribution system as well as less generated storm water in sewer system.[1]

Quality

The concentration of contaminants is reduced significantly by diverting the initial flow of run-off water to waste.[2] Improved water quality can also be obtained by using a floating draw-off mechanism (rather than from the base of the tank) and by using a series of tanks, with draw from the last in series. Pre-filtration is a common practice used in the industry to ensure that the water entering the tank is free of large sediment. Pre-filtration is important to keep the system healthy.

System setup

Rainwater harvesting systems can be installed with minimal skills. The system should be sized to meet the water demand throughout the dry season since it must be big enough to support daily water consumption. Specifically, the rainfall capturing area such as a building roof must be large enough to maintain adequate flow. The water storage tank size should be large enough to contain the captured water.

New approaches

Instead of using the roof for catchment, the RainSaucer, which looks like an upside down umbrella, collects rain straight from the sky. This decreases the potential for contamination and makes potable water for developing countries a potential application.[4] Other applications of this free standing rainwater collection approach are sustainable gardening and small plot farming.[5]A Dutch invention called the Groasis Waterboxx is also useful for growing trees with harvested and stored dew and rainwater.

Presentation of RainSaucer system to students at Orphanage in Guatemala.

Traditionally, storm water management using detention basins served a single purpose. However, optimized real-time control (OptiRTC) lets this infrastructure double as a source of rainwater harvesting without compromising the existing detention capacity.[6] This has been used in the EPA headquarters to evacuate stored water prior to storm events, thus reducing wet weather flow while ensuring water availability for later reuse. This has the benefit of increasing water quality released and decreasing the volume of water released during combined sewer overflow events.[7][8]

Generally, check dams are constructed across the streams to enhance the percolation of surface water in to the sub soil strata. The water percolation in the water impounded area of the check dams, can be enhanced artificially many folds by loosening the sub soil strata / overburden by using ANFO explosives as used in open cast mining. Thus local aquifers can be recharged quickly by using the available surface water fully for using in the dry season.

Grey water: 

Did you know that you can water your plants without paying the city or water company legally! Yes in-deed, by designing your homes plumbing drain system for Grey Water usage. There are various degrees of Grey-Water plumbing designs, most of which can be real simple and cost less than $500.00. When plumbing your new house all you need to do is ask your builder to put in a separate drain line with a couple of valves that connects up to your clothes washer, bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs. Most builders and plumbers think that the installation of a Grey-Water system is illegal. Not anymore, in January of 2001 the DEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) put their blessings on a Grey-Water system for residential use.

 

 

Daniels_Rainwater-Harvester

Reasons to use Gray Water

  • Water Conservation

  • We live in a desert and we are having a drought.

  • You use water twice

  • Reduces demand on the septic tank or treatment plants

  • Less energy and chemical use

  • It nourishes plants

  • It helps purify ground water

  • Makes you feel good by doing the right thing!

What can we Safely Irrigate?

  • Trees

  • Shrubs

  • Lawns (not sprayed)

  • Flowers and Ground Cover

  • Fruit and Nut Trees

  • Lettuce

  • Corn

  • Staked Tomatoes

  • Above Ground Vegetables

Make sure gray water does not come in contact with anything you will eat without peeling or cooking it first. Another thing to remember is to handle Grey-Water with care.

So enjoy the fruits of your labors and help participate in a “Sustainable Future”.


References:

  1. Behzadian, k; Kapelan, Z (2015). “Advantages of integrated and sustainability based assessment for metabolism based strategic planning of urban water systems”.Science of The Total Environment (Elsevier). 527-528: 220–231.doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.097.
  2. New Scientist, 3 April 1999
  3. Harvesting rainwater for more than grey water”. Smart Planet. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  4. Kumar, Ro. “Collect up to 10 gallons of water per inch of rain with Rain saucers’ latest standalone rainwater catchment”. LocalBlu. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  5. “Rainwater Harvesting – Controls in the Cloud”. Smart Planet. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  6.  O’Brien, Sara Ashley. “The Tech Behind Smart Cities – Eliminating Water Pollution”. CNN Money. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  7. Braga, Andrea. “Making Green Work, and Work Harder” (PDF). Geosyntec. p. 5. Retrieved 30 November 2014.