How to Build a Rainwater Harvesting System – Part 3

This is the third in a series on how to build a rainwater harvesting system.  Click to read the first and second articles on this topic.

pollenAfter the first flush device, secondary screening is needed before raw rainwater enters the storage tank or cistern. A fine mesh stainless steel screen should be ordered with your rainwater storage tank. Be sure each tank that is receiving rain from a downspout has a screen. The screen is easily removed for periodic cleaning.

During pollen season, a layer of cheesecloth or a manufactured cloth filter liner should be installed to keep pollen out of the storage area. Both cheesecloth or the cloth filter can be rinsed and reused many times before a replacement is needed.

vortex filterA vortex filter for underground transfer from gutter to a sump tank is a good way to remove debris before rainwater is pumped to the cistern. Only periodic cleaning of the vortex filter is needed. Vortex filters should meet the roof size requirements to work effectively and installed per the manufacturer’s recommendations. A vortex filter can be used instead of a first flush device when mounted between the gutter and the cistern.

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Ken Blair
A rainwater collection systems designer and consultant, Ken has designed and installed residential and commercial systems, primarily in the northwest United States for more than 10 years and, in 2014, began consulting and managing builds in other states. Ken is an accredited ARCSA Professional Designer / Installer and Life Member, the Northwest Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee and is available to speak about Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.

Ken is a United States Navy veteran, having served on active duty during the Vietnam War era. He attained the rate of E-4 Machinist Mate.

A career entrepreneur, Ken created a new business focus with a commercial dive company in Hawaii in the mid 1980′s to respond to and clean up oil spills, oil spill equipment training, service and maintenance for the oil co-op service industry. Ken is passionate about having a positive impact on the environment and is also a founding director of BANK-ON-RAIN (2011-2014), whose mission is to create grassroots solutions for rainwater collection for consumption and agriculture in developing areas of the planet.

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