How to Set Up a Domestic Rain Harvesting System
by Lou-Ann Jordan Nov 6, 2023
Rainwater harvesting is a centuries-old tradition used widely in the Caribbean. Many of us might have grown up with drums or barrels of water we caught from rainfall. For some, it was the primary water source. The water harvested from our rooftop was then used domestically for laundry, cleaning, or, in some cases, drinking. In addition to domestic rainwater harvesting, which involves using the water at the household level, there is agricultural rainwater harvesting, which entails using the water for farming purposes.
Today, the harvesting of rainwater is still beneficial. For one thing, it helps augment your pipe-borne water supply, especially in challenging times. Also, it is not difficult to install. Quite simply, all that’s required is a tank. Of course, based on your needs and space allotment, you can employ a more complex system, such as building a cistern.
More than ever, we are called to be prudent in our energy use, which helps diminish our carbon footprint. With rainwater harvesting, you eliminate the need to filter, pump or even heat water, which requires energy. Also, by employing such a system to work in tandem with your conventional water source, you can reduce your water usage and save money.
Information is power, so we want you to know about domestic rainwater harvesting systems and how to install one. Therefore, we contacted the experts at G-Crews, who provided helpful insight into what you’ll need and how to get started.
Let’s look at the basic parts of a rainwater harvesting system and what you’ll need:
Catchment area (roof, pavement, or similar structure):
The type of roof material used is inconsequential when installed for agricultural purposes. However, if water is being used for drinking, it is inadvisable to use asphalt shingles. A coated, galvanised type of material or concrete is better.
PVC or metal gutters, concrete gullies, channels, or pipes are used to transport water.
Tank or cistern
A prefabricated plastic or metal tank can be purchased, or a concrete cistern can be constructed and installed.
Only needed if the supply system is not gravity-fed. We’ve explored the various parts of the system and what will be needed. Here are tips on how to collect and store water for domestic use.
- Install a guttering system that can capture as much water as possible. The size of your roof determines the guttering measurement. It’s advised that if your roof is small, use four inches, while six inches is more suitable for larger roofs.
- Ensure that a first flush system is installed between the downpipe and the storage tank to remove as many impurities as possible.
- Elevate your tank, placing it higher than the area where the water will be used (for example, toilet or washing machine). Doing so helps the water to follow using gravity and eliminates the added cost of a pump.
- Using a water pump may not be avoidable, especially if you need to move your water to elevations significantly higher than your tank. However, when selecting one, consider using solar energy pumps if you need pumping.
In a world thirsting for change, rise as a water hero and do your part to conserve and preserve this precious resource. So, install your rainwater harvesting system with G-Crews’ easy tips!