Water is the elixir of life; likewise rainwater is the elixir the earth requires time and again to quench the thirst of the land and its people. While many states in India have found ways and means to store the rain water, many people in other states are yet to consider this valuable initiative. Storing rainwater innovatively can help people in times of drought and in harsh summers when water is rationed.
There are several ways to collect rainwater. It can be stored in tanks, barrels and in wells dug for this purpose. Setting up a rainwater collection system is a great way to save water for drinking, additional water for gardening and storing for emergencies. There are several kinds of water storage units available in the market.
An elevated dual barrel, home collection system using big barrels of several gallons capacity, stacked barrel system and decorative water collection system where decorative containers are used to collect water. While barrels are used in countries abroad, most states in India collect and store rainwater using other methods. Many houses construct underground tanks which are connected to the pipe leading from the terrace to the tank. The rainwater from the terrace falls through the pipe directly into the tank. This water can be used for the garden and other purposes. When this water is purified it can also be used for drinking purposes.
Here are some great ideas to collect rainwater at home…
Storage barrels come in various shapes and sizes. These barrels can be connected to drain pipes coming from the terrace and during rains this water flows into the barrels for future use. In places where there is heavy rainfall, barrels are not enough but huge barrels can be stacked up and connected with pipes to fill each barrel. As one barrel gets filled it overflows into the other as they are inter-connected through pipes.
Mini tanks can be a useful storage system for rainwater. Each tank can be fitted with an overflow valve. When one tank gets filled it will started flowing into the next tank. Mini tanks are useful in places where space is tight. Mini tanks can be stacked or placed one after the other in a small space. Water cannot be used as is for consumption as the water is impure passing through gutter pipes on to the tank. Good strainers can be fixed at the end of the pipes so that debris will not enter the tank. Later if the water is to be used for consumption it can be purified using filters.
Water gets contaminated easily especially when taken from lakes, rivers and other sources. This water usually is with silt and tastes bad, has harmful bacteria and viruses. The water box is a simple unit that purifies this kind of water with UV radiation. The water gets purified and can then be used for drinking and cooking purposes. This method of purifying through a water box is preferred as it purifies water in a single process. When compared to other processes this is low cost. It is mobile and portable. It is easy to install and use as there is no moving part or parts that can wear out. It is also solar powered.
Storage of water is the most expensive element in rainwater harvesting. But surface storage with plastic barrels both in term of purchasing and installing these systems. Though they are easy to handle and install, they have their own share of disadvantages. Plumbing and pre-filtration can be difficult when used for multiple spouts in large roofs. As these barrels are exposed to the elements, their life span is limited and this has to be factored in the cost calculations.
Water that gets collected in the terrace can be collected through drain pipes that can be connected to a tank in the ground, wells or to surface barrels. This is system is easier to incorporate in the roof while constructing the building. The pipes can be fitted with a filtering system that will not let silt or other debris from entering the tank. The water can later be purified using a proper purifying system.
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