Do you experience heavy rainfall, and when this happens, is your compound constantly flooded? Are you looking for a solution to minimize flooding and surface run-off after it rains? There’s a solution: rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater harvesting entails collecting and storing rainwater instead of wasting it. How will you achieve this? You need a rainwater collection system.
Here’s a guide on how to build one:
Figure Out The Amount Of Rainwater You Can Collect
An ideal rainwater collection system should contain as much water as possible. Therefore, you want to know how much water you can collect on average. Doing so enables you to get the right tools for the system, such as a water tank.
How will you know how much rainwater you can collect? It all comes down to your roof size.
Start by approximating the rainfall your region receives in millimeters. You can get this information from your meteorological department. Next, calculate the area of your roof. Multiply these two figures to approximate the amount of rainfall you can collect.
Acquire A Collecting Barrel
Your collection system requires a barrel, which will hold the harvested water. You can use different tools as barrels, from an old container to a water tank. A water tank is the most common option.
Suppose you opt for a water tank. You have to ensure it’s the right one for your needs. The first factor to consider is its capacity. How much rainwater can it hold? You already have an approximation of the rainwater you can collect. This figure should guide you in determining the tank size to purchase. Ensure the tank has a bigger capacity than the amount needed to cater for excess rainwater.
Besides the size, factor in the quality. You want to ensure it serves you for many years. The aspects that depict quality are the tank’s material and brand. The material should be strong enough and able to last despite the surrounding conditions, be they extreme heat or cold. Common tank materials are steel, concrete, and plastic. Concerning the brand, buy from a reputable brand known for its quality tanks.
Find An Ideal Location
Your rainwater barrel should be placed where it collects as much water as possible. Hence, the need to find the ideal location is crucial.
Since the main water source is the roof, place the tank in direct access to the gutter. It’s best that it’s directly below the gutter to prevent spillage. Consider adding a downspout to your gutter to direct the water into the tank.
Also, the location should be where the tank won’t interfere with the usual traffic in your compound. The collection system should be in harmony with everything else around it.
Build A Base
A base is where the rainwater tank will sit as it harvests rainwater. It should be level and shouldn’t sink.
Most compounds are of natural soil. Bare soil isn’t the ideal base for a water tank. The tank will most likely sink, which can become a safety hazard. Therefore, you must build the right base.
First, break the direct contact between the tank and the soil. Adding one or two layers of gravel will do the trick.
Next, the tank should be on a flat surface to prevent it from toppling over, especially when it’s full. Level the ground by adding an extra layer of gravel and compacting it to form a flat surface. Alternatively, build a concrete base.
Accessorize Your Tank
Accessorizing your tank is essential, especially to handle excess water. You also want easy access to the stored water.
Consider placing another barrel next to the water tank to handle excess water. Join the two using a pipe placed near the top of both containers. When the water in the tank is full, it’ll flow into the other tank through the pipe. At no given time will there be spillage?
Add a tap at the bottom of the tank to gain access to the stored water. All you must do is drill a hole and attach the tap, ensuring you appropriately seal the area around the tap. Doing so prevents water leaks that lead to water wastage.
Safeguard Your Water
Before setting up your rainwater tank, you want to safeguard it, especially if you’re to use the stored water in your home for purposes like drinking or cooking.
Consider placing a mesh fabric at the top of the tank. It’ll prevent rodents, dirt, and debris like sticks and leaves from getting into the water. It’d also help to adopt a leaf eater.
A leaf eater will prevent debris and other materials from the gutter from getting into your tank. Therefore, place it on your downspout.
It’s important to note that even with all these measures, you should always treat your stored water before drinking it or using it for kitchen purposes. There are various ways to do this, from water ionizers to chlorine.
Building a rainwater collection system is something you can easily achieve as a DIY (Do It Yourself) project. The discussion above has detailed the steps to take for the process. Implementing this guide as you build a rainwater collection system makes the execution faster and more fruitful. Therefore, be sure to use it when the time comes.
Author’s Bio: Samantha Lee is a homesteader and urban farmer. She has been collecting rainwater for her garden and livestock for several years and has developed her own system for maximizing water collection and usage. Samantha is also a passionate cook and enjoys experimenting with new recipes using fresh ingredients from her garden.
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