In many parts of the world, water is a very precious commodity. With rainwater harvesting and recycling, we can help to conserve this valuable resource. Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. This water can be used for irrigation, domestic use, or even for drinking water.
In this article we will go deeper into the value of harvesting rainwater in the long term, how to effectively harvest rainwater, and the best ways to use that rainwater at home.
Why Should You Harvest Rainwater?
With water scarcity and droughts becoming an increasingly worrisome issue across the globe we are left to question our stewardship of water, as individuals, households and as countries, as well as the effects of our past carelessness with this precious resource.
Lake Mead, being one of America’s largest water sources, has dropped to about 27% of its total capacity over the years, with the expectation that levels will continue to fall. This fact alone should be incentive enough to save more than you use.
One way to conserve water is to harvest rainwater.
Rainwater harvesting and recycling has many benefits, including reducing your water bill, providing an emergency water supply, and reducing your ecological footprint.
Save Money On Your Water Bill
In many areas, a significant portion of the water bill goes towards paying for the treatment and delivery of potable water. By harvesting rainwater, you can reduce or even eliminate your need for treated municipal water.
This can help you save money when washing your car, watering your plants, cleaning the house, and flushing the toilet.
With over 300 gallons/ 1135,62 liters of water being used, on average, in an American home every day, rainwater harvesting saves a lot of water and makes your wallet slightly happier!
Rainwater is also naturally soft, meaning it has a lower concentration of minerals than hard water. This makes it good for plants and cars because it won’t leave mineral deposits behind.
Have An Emergency Water Supply
In addition to saving money, harvesting rainwater can provide an emergency water supply in case of a power outage or other disruption in the municipal water system. A rainwater storage tank, depending on the size, can provide enough drinking water for a family of four for several days.
In many parts of the world, rainwater is an important emergency water supply. It can be used for drinking (although not always), cooking, and cleaning. Rainwater is relatively clean and does not require extreme treatment before use. However, it can become contaminated by pollutants on roofs and in gutters. To reduce the risk of contamination, collect rainwater in clean containers with tight-fitting lids.
In an emergency, you can drink rainwater if you have no other safe water available. However, boiling it or using chlorine bleach to purify it will make it safer to drink. Filtering the water through your taps is another effective option for cleaning out impurities.
Reduce Your Ecological Footprint
In order to reduce your ecological footprint it’s important to note how much water you actually use day-to-day. This way you can know where water is being used the most and how you can reduce your usage and even recycle water. For example washing machines typically use 19 gallons/ 72 liters of water per load, that’s a lot of water! You can use the gray water from your washing machine, bathing and dishwashing for your garden.
How To Recycle Rainwater For Use At Home
In order to actually use the rainwater you first need to collect it.
Collecting rainwater in tanks is a great way to harvest water for later use. But there are a few things to consider when setting up a rainwater harvesting system.
1. The first is to determine how much water you need to collect. This will depend on factors such as the size of your household and the climate you live in. Once you have an idea of the amount of water you use, you can choose the right size tank for your needs.
2. Make sure the water tank is made with food-grade materials.
3. The next step is to install a filter on your tank. This will ensure that any debris or contaminants are removed from the rainwater before it is stored.
4. Place the tank in an area where it will be able to collect rainfall easily, such as underneath a gutter downspout.
5. Make sure the tank has a lid to keep debris and animals out.
How Long Can Rainwater Be Stored For?
It is possible to store rainwater for long periods of time if it is done correctly. There are many factors to consider when planning to store rainwater, such as the type of container, the location of the storage tank, and how often the water will be used.
The most important factor to consider when storing rainwater is preventing contamination. It is very important to use a clean container that is food grade and has a tight-fitting lid. The storage tank should be located away from any potential sources of contamination, such as septic tanks or areas where pesticides are used.
The water should be tested regularly for bacteria. If you feel the need to take extra precaution when using water from the tank, you can add small amounts of unscented household bleach to your water or tank. But it is important to strictly follow the directions for each brand of bleach, you don’t want to intoxicate yourself or your family.
If you have the water tank connected to pipes and taps in your home then you should also consider adding the Survivor Filter Pure 10k Home Filter to your home. It can last up to two years and filters out 99.9% of chlorine, VOC's and PFAS.