Collecting rainwater is free (and legal, except for in some US jurisdictions). In water-scarce South Africa, we should be harvesting as much of this free resource as possible and storing it in water tanks.
Rain that falls on your home is free for you to capture and use to supply your daily needs. A typical home and garage with 3,000 square feet of roof area can capture 1,800 gallons of pure rainwater with each inch of rainfall. Over the year, the total rainwater available for capture with our normal central Texas rainfall of 32 inches per year is more than 55,000 gallons. With more roof area, the rainfall captured increases.
Thousands of central Texas residents have opted to use rainwater as their primary source for pure, clean potable water.
A typical residential rainwater collection system consists of these basic elements – screened gutters to collect water from the roof; piping to convey rainwater to storage tanks; a large storage tank or tanks to hold the rainwater for future use; a pump and pressure tank to maintain the pressure needed for household use; and a filtration and sterilization unit to remove any foreign matter and sterilize the water prior to use in the home.
The secret to a successful rainwater collection system for residential use is having adequate water tank capacity to get by the dry months, sometimes three months without measurable rainfall. The minimum amount of water tank capacity normally recommended for residential use is 20000 gallons, approximately 7 feet tall and 22 feet in diameter. For larger families more tank capacity is recommended.
Watering lawn grasses with stored rainwater is not recommended unless water tank storage capacity is dramatically increased. Opt for native plants and drought tolerant grasses that are adapted to the central Texas climate.
Rainwater systems for residential use are more reliable than a traditional well pumping groundwater. If the well pump fails, you are out of water until it can be replaced. If the well goes dry, which is common now, you are out of water period. With a rainwater collection system, there is a large water tank that is unlikely to go dry, but can be refilled within hours with truck-delivered water to get by until the next rain.
Professionals are available to help you with the design, installation and minimal maintenance of a residential rainwater collection system.
Source: Bandera County Courier Abbrev.
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Live in the USA and need rainwater harvesting equipment? Click HERE!