Tag Archives: water

Key Factors In Planning a Rainwater System

Water. We simply can’t live without it. Safety, cost and convenience are some key factors to consider when planning a rainwater system for commercial or residential use. Will the water be used for irrigation? Toilet or laundry facilities? Or, will you and your family want to drink it?

Here are some key factors to help you decide where to begin designing your system. We originally discussed this in a post from 2014:

Whether you are designing your own rainwater catchment system or having one designed by a professional, success of your rainwater catchment system design is dependent on some key factors.

What do I want to accomplish with my design of a rainwater catchment system?

Irrigation, toilet and or laundry facility, supplementary to well water or city water, whole house usage, and sole source are the main purpose of designs.

How much rainwater can I collect from my roof? Will it be enough to supply my needs?

One inch of rainfall per 1,000 square feet of roof will yield approximately 623 gallons of water. Evaporation, wind, and spillage account for 15 – 20 % of loss. A 2,000 square foot roof with 36″ of annual rainfall may yield 44,856 gallons. With an efficiency of 85%, that equals 38,128 gallons.

One inch of rain is needed for the healthy growth of plants. This equates to .623 gallons per week for 1 square foot of planting, which can add up rather fast, so keeping your irrigation needs small and giving consideration to drought tolerant plants is recommended.

Toilet and laundry facilities account for 49% of household usage. Designing and building a system for this purpose alone can cut your water and sewer bill in half. New construction is the best time to implement this type of system however, retrofitting plumbing in an existing home can be accomplished.

If the collection area is small or available space for storage is restricted, a supplementary system can be achieved with “slim line” style of cisterns or buried tanks. A small roof can still be effective in collection if used for a supplementary source to well water or city water.

Whole house usage, or potable water, can eliminate dependency on city water or well water, where you can still have city or well water as a back up during dry times. With the advanced filtration and UV disinfection offered today, safe, reliable drinking water for whole house usage will exceed the quality of most well and city water.

Now that you are considering what usage of collected rainfall would best suit your needs, we will discuss sizing, configuration, implementation, and maintenance of a designed rainwater catchment system in upcoming posts.

When you are ready to begin, RainBank will come to your site, discuss your needs and prepare a feasibility study – customized to your usage. There is a fee for this, which would be discounted from the cost when you contract with us to design or build your system. Use the form below to request a feasibility study.

The Fog Catcher

Necessity is the mother of Invention.

Nearly one million people living in Lima, Peru now have access to clean, safe water. An innovator named Abel Cruz decided to do something about it and started collecting water from fog. A very simple idea to collect the water latent fog with meshing and conveying it by gravity to cisterns.

According to an article in Nature World News, “The “fog catcher” is composed of rectangular sails made up from a net typically used in plant nurseries. The structure is about 4×10 to 4×8 meters in size supported by two vertical poles. The device collects water via fog that passes through the net, which forms water droplets. The accumulated water will then be collected via a gutter that’s connected to a storage tank.”

Watch this video and see for yourself that with a little ingenuity one can overcome adversity.

Photo courtesy of Fellipe Abreu

A Precious Resource – Think Twice About Wasting Water

fountain-352251_640So many of us may have become complacent about the water that has seemingly so easily flowed through our faucets and garden hoses. In the United States, drought and aging infrastructure served as not so gentle reminders that clean, safe water does not flow freely if we don’t take steps to preserve this precious resource. Flint, MI has poisoned its citizens with lead, which has lead to increased testing – and lead and other toxins are being found in public systems countrywide. In other parts of the world, clean, safe, flowing water is a luxury, which many do not have.

We commemorated World Water Day this week. Life cannot be sustained without water; as such, we believe it is a basic human right. According to UNWater.org, ‘World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.”

The theme for this years’ World Water Day was water and jobs, and putting a spotlight on how quality and quantity of water can change lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

Think about it –installing a small rainwater system for a home or business can vastly improve the lives of residents, employees, families – but also the overall public by reducing loads on public systems. Private systems can still be connected to city or well water, which would be used as backup to rainwater systems, if and when necessary.

But enough about us, we really wanted to share some amazing photos, that will make you think twice about wasting water. The extraordinary shots document how folks around the world access water. We encourage you to take a look, and then think about how we may be heading in this direction if we don’t start thinking about how we can better manage our access to safe and clean water – and the hazards that threaten our aging public systems.