These days, when people think rainwater, they think of any of the following things—wastewater, contaminants, mud, and dirt. And there’s a good reason for this perception. The thing with rain these days is that when it falls, each drop brings with it contaminants floating in the air. Good examples of contaminants are vehicle and factory emissions and particulates of bird droppings.
That said, it follows that nobody should be surprised as to why there are populations that oppose the idea of consuming rainwater or using it for a number of crucial chores that require rainwater. The thing is, what’s not known to these many people is the fact that technology has improved so much that there now are technologies that can make rainwater safe for consumption even by children (who have highly sensitive digestive systems) and safe for other crucial tasks that require the use of clean water or involve the use of pristine water.
These technologies are parts of a rainwater harvesting system, an ancient method of collecting rainwater that’s becoming popular again, at least in a number of different places around the world. Read on to know more about these technologies and their respective roles in the rainwater harvesting system.
Understanding the Rainwater Harvesting System
In order to know, understand, and fully appreciate the technologies that make possible the safe consumption of rainwater even by children, and therefore also help in making rainwater suitable for use in other tasks, it’s essential that one fully understand the ins and outs of the rainwater harvesting system. This way, the features of each technology can be truly appreciated.
The rainwater harvesting system is composed of a number of components, each with a specific role. These are:
– Catchment and Drainage Systems.
The catchment system is a term that refers to a roof used for harvesting rainwater. A roof that’s suitable for harvesting rainwater is defined as one made of a material considered neither contaminant nor pollutant. Also, it should be one that’s not coated with any material that is considered pollutant and contaminant.
From this, it follows that the best catchment system is an unpainted metal roof.
The drainage system is distinct from the catchment area, but both are connected together. The drainage system refers to any number of pipes that bring the rain that falls down the roof to the rainwater tank, which the drainage system is connected to. Therefore, it follows that the drainage system refers to a downpipe that is used in rainwater harvesting. And the downpipe that’s best for rainwater harvesting refers to any downpipe made of food-grade material. By getting a downpipe fashioned from food-grade materials, you raise the possibility of harvesting water that can be used in a number of tasks that require safe and clean water.
– Meshes, Filters, First Flush Diverter, and Purification System.
These four things are the technologies that help make rainwater safe for even little children to drink. Meshes keep insects, droppings, twigs, and leaves away from rainwater in the process of being collected. Filters keep even finer contaminants and pollutant particles out of rainwater in the process of being collected, as the diameters of their pores are measured in microns. The first flush diverter removes the first flush of rainwater that gets into the system during the first minutes of rainfall—this first flush is full of contaminants especially if it’s been quite some time since the last time rain fell in your place.
A purification system is different from a filtration system (composed of filters) in that the process of purification does not have to be mechanical. As a matter of fact, some purification systems involve the use of chemicals and even UV light. The end goal of the process of purification, like filtration, is making collected rainwater cleaner.
– Rainwater Tank.
Your home needs a rainwater tank. Here’s why: it’s bigger than a barrel, and its openings have meshes, which not only ensure cleanliness of rainwater, but also protect stored rainwater from insects.
The pump is another reason rainwater harvesting systems these days are better than the rainwater harvesting systems of the past. Pumps allow collected rainwater to be evenly distributed to different parts of the home the rainwater harvesting system is connected to.