Rainwater Collection for Domestic Use


Rainwater Collection for Domestic Use

Harvesting rainwater is the gathering and storage of rainwater for domestic use. Although not always clean enough for human consumption, the rainwater can serve many other purposes like water for flushing toilets, washing clothing or cars, irrigating the lawn and garden, and providing water supplies long distances away from a dedicated ground well or other reliable source of water. It can be make life simpler, safer, and less expensive for those who live on northern Arizona ranch property and own livestock and horses.

Domestic rainwater harvesting systems are relatively simple. They usually use sloped ground or a roof gutter system to collect the falling rain into a storage container. To project the amount of rainwater a system can harvest, simply multiply the yearly precipitation of the harvesting area times the collection spaces to result in a total yearly collection. For purpose of the example we will assume that we are harvesting rain from a 2000 square foot roof. The Prescott area averages about 20 inches of precipitation per year. It is also assumed that you can collect 4/10 of a gallon of water from one inch of precipitation on one square foot of rooftop. The formula is as follows.

Total Collection = (.4) X (20” rainfall per year) X (2000 square foot collection area)

Total Collection = 16,000 gallons

The water can then be stored in a variety of containers, from underground storage tanks to typical 55 gallon drums. The dispersion systems used can also range from simple to complex. For irrigation or livestock drinking sources, the water can be gravity fed through hoses into the proper troughs or locations that need to be watered. For human consumption, the collected water will be run through a filtration system and then pumped into the homes plumbing system. Often times the city water will be mixed with the rainwater into an underground storage tank before filtration to ensure that all of the water supplied to the house for domestic use is filtered and pure.

Rainwater harvesting systems can be a very effective solution for decreasing a water bill for a rural property owner and making a serious contribution towards conserving water for future generations. To find the system right for you, contact an expert in your area. There are hundreds of resources online that can get you started in the right direction.