Collecting the rain makes better sense than complaining about it. Whether you collect it in rain barrels or your storage needs require larger cisterns, rainwater collection and use has a host of benefits. Here is why you should change your way of thinking about rainwater collection:
Rainwater can be a clean, safe, reliable source of potable and non potable water. Rainwater is relatively clean to begin with and if collected, conveyed, stored, filtered and disinfected properly, it can meet the needs of small scale watering to whole house potable use.
Rain barrels can collect water inexpensively for small watering needs, with down spouts being diverted to a rain garden when full, as well as during the rainy season.
Larger cisterns can collect water all winter long to have a large volume for irrigation needs during the summer months. If collected water is pressurized and filtered, it can be plumbed into toilet facilities and laundry to supplement city water usage. If filtered and disinfected, whole house potable usage can be achieved whether large cisterns are used for year-round use or as small storage as a supplement to city water.
So, instead of saying “DARN RAIN!!!!”, consider changing your way of thinking about rainwater collection.
Orangutan in The Rain (c) Andrew Suryono, Indonesia, Entry, Nature and Wildlife Category, Open Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Although centrifugal pumps are the most common type of pump used in rainwater collection systems for both sump pumps and pressure pumps, diaphragm pumps could be used in some applications.
The diaphragm pump, or positive displacement pump, uses a flexible membrane that separates the pump housing into two separate chambers. The membrane is pushed or pulled by mechanical means to enlarge or collapse a chamber, forcing the fluid to discharge. Non return valves are used on both sides of the diaphragm to prevent back flow. Electrical, mechanical, or manual can be the power supply for a diaphragm pump. A hand pump is a piston type diaphragm pump and used throughout the world, where there is no source of a power supply.
Air, chemical, and liquid can be pumped with a diaphragm pump with high efficiency. However, because of the reciprocating mechanical action or “pulsating” that occurs, a diaphragm pump would not be suited where a “steady flow” is desired . Diaphragm pumps are very efficient in suction lift and, in some cases, could effectively be used to transfer water from a sump well below the the desired cistern location.
A more common use for a diaphragm pump in a rainwater collection system is a small air compressor used to keep large amounts of stored water from going anaerobic or with chemical treatment such as chlorine, if required.
The nonprofit rainwater harvesting industry association, The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) strongly supports legislation with an eye toward helping communities better prepare for the future by providing new incentives and investments to help residents, businesses and local water agencies conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies.
ARCSA president, David Crawford has asked Congress to support rainwater harvesting by passing two bills in the House and Senate, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, along with Reps. Grace Napolitano and Peter DeFazio.
In his letter, dated December 7, 2014, Crawford states: “ARCSA strongly supports legislation in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that aims to help communities nationwide better prepare for the future by providing new incentives and investments to help residents, businesses and local water agencies conserve, recycle and manage limited water supplies. Introduced in the Senate (S. 2771) by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and in the House (H.R. 5363) by Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), “W21: Water in the 21st Century” would expand rebates and grants for water conservation and efficiency; support local investments in water recycling and improved groundwater and storage; invest in research into water-saving technologies and desalination; and establish an open water data system. The measure also would seek to help local communities take steps to become better prepared for drought.”
Please click here to read the full article on ARCSA’s position and learn why it is important, not just for improved water conservation, but also to foster economic development through the creation of new jobs associated to rainwater harvesting industry development.