Rain is 100% free, and this is what makes rainwater harvesting very attractive to many. Sadly, not all places allow its residents to collect rainwater, but to those living in places where this is legal, the practice is literally the cheapest way to get water for use in different tasks, such as gardening and washing the driveway.
If you are interested in starting your own rainwater collection system and happen to be living in a place where this is legal, the first thing you need to know is that even if you live in a small room in an apartment building, a system can be made, provided that you make a few adjustments. You really have no excuse not to start your own system if you really want to save money on water.
Once you have prepared a space for a water collection system, you must then follow the tips highlighted below. There is a separate set of instructions for rainwater collection enthusiasts living rooms in apartment buildings.
1. If you want to drink the collected rainwater, make sure it’s filtered properly.
One of the consequences of the development of modern society is pollution, which causes so many diseases. Avoid acquiring diseases by filtering and boiling collected rainwater before drinking it or using it to cook food. There are so many filtering options available, and the more you use, the cleaner the water you drink or use for cooking.
2. Acid rain is nothing to worry about.
Unless you wish to use the collected rainwater for car washing purposes and you live in a polluted area, acid rain is not something you should worry about. Other reasons why you should not worry about acid rain is the fact that all water is a little bit acidic and that there are other things you need to worry about, like bird droppings, insects, and dust.
3. Be fully aware of all the uses of rainwater.
You can use all stored rainwater for the following purposes: drinking, cooking, gardening, laundry, bathing, washing the car, flushing the toilet, and putting out a house fire or grass fire.
4. Your roof should be made of asphalt or gravel shingles
Gravel and asphalt shingles are the best roofing materials since they are not composed of harmful substances.
5. If you have not yet chosen a rainwater collection tank to purchase, make sure to place a screen on the barrel you can temporarily use for storage.
While you do not need to worry much about dirt as long as you will only be using the collected rainwater for gardening, a screen still helps to keep mosquitoes and bird droppings out of the barrel. Thus, it’s recommended that you look for a screen that can filter such undesirable elements.
6. When selecting a container to purchase and install in your property, get one that can store enough water for your needs.
To know the type and size of tank you need, the only thing you need to do is to be aware of the average amount of water that falls in your area each year. Then, keeping in mind that the roof usually collects 80% of the rainwater that falls directly on it, multiply that amount by 0.8. The result is the amount of rainwater you can possibly collect each year.
7. Choose a water tank made from high-quality materials.
As rainwater is a long-term money-saving solution, you are better off with a tank that will never succumb to the elements easily.
8. Make use of a first wash diverter.
First wash diverters are an amazing addition to a rainwater collection system, as it ensures that you only collect the cleanest, highest-quality rainwater. It works by transferring the first gallons of water (always contaminated) to a chamber, and once this chamber is full, it closes. Once it closes, the rest of the incoming water flow directly into the collection tank.
9. Tips for rainwater collection if you are living in an apartment building:
As long as you have space on the balcony, have enough time to check water levels, are located near a downspout, and have attached a spout to the barrel, you are good to go. Attach a few pipes to the downspout in such a way that some water will go to the barrel (make sure it is situated on top of a platform). Make sure that the barrel has a cover and filter to prevent mosquitoes and bird droppings from making their way inside.