We live in a world today where we see our natural resources depleting and becoming scarce. It can be alarming to see how so many of our resources, like water, are being wasted and used improperly. The global climate crisis is causing longer droughts, groundwater depletion, and freshwater pollution. Luckily, there are some alternative ways to become more eco-conscious with your choices within your homes and businesses to help save our natural resources and environment. Water is essential to our survival, so it’s necessary to take proactive steps to create sustainable water sources for ourselves. Harvesting rainwater is one of the beneficial ways we can do this. Here is the complete guide to harvesting and filtering rainwater.
What Is Rainwater Harvesting?
Harvesting rainwater is a method that many survivalists and eco-conscious individuals utilize to collect rainwater for various beneficial uses. This practice is one of the simplest ways to conserve water in your own home. The process involves collecting, storing, and recycling rainwater through various types of methods. This practice of rainwater harvesting is gaining new popularity and attention as a sustainable alternative to water usage as the global climate crisis accelerates worldwide. People are looking for new and more environmentally-friendly ways to conserve and use natural resources like water.
Benefits of Harvesting Rainwater
The practice of harvesting rainwater has many positive benefits that can impact the way your family uses this resource. The first benefit of this innovative practice is that it reduces the demand for local freshwater resources. Rainwater harvesting is also good for the environment because of this. A more individual benefit of this method is that it can help you to reduce the cost of significantly water bills, which is a major plus. Some other positive aspects of harvesting rainwater include reducing flooding, slowing erosion, and conserving water.
How Harvesting Rainwater Works
Now that you understand the general idea of what rainwater harvesting is, we’ll explain how this process really works. There are various methods for how you can collect rainwater in your own home. Still, the overall process includes the same elements of collecting, filtering, storing, treating, and reusing the rainwater. Read on to find out what each of these steps involves.
The first step in the rainwater harvesting process is gathering or collecting the water. Again, there are a few different methods and strategies you can use for collecting rainwater. However, the simplest collection method involves using your roof and gutter system to gather and direct the water into a storage space. There are also other more complex water collection systems you can use to gather the rainwater.
Storing the rainwater is the next step in the process. Once you collect the rainwater, you will need an appropriate location or storage container to store it. Many people use large barrels to store their rainwater once it’s collected. For example, suppose you’re utilizing the simple roof and gutter collection method. In that case, the barrel connects to this system, so the rain will empty directly into it as it comes out of the gutter during a rainstorm.
Now that you have collected and stored the water appropriately, you will need to filter it, especially if you plan to use it as a source of drinking water. You should never drink this water without filtering it first, as that can pose potential health risks. If you have a more complex rainwater harvesting system, then your system may already have built-in filtration systems to filter out dirt and debris. However, if your system does not have a built-in filtering system, then you will need an alternative filtration method to clean your water and make it safe for drinking and other uses.
Filtering rainwater is not necessarily enough to purify it completely for use as drinking water. Therefore, treating the water is another essential step in the harvesting process. You should perform water filtration and water treatment for the best, safest results. There are a few ways you can treat and purify your water. Some popular strategies include reverse osmosis, deionization, boiling, and chemical treatment methods.
Now that you have gathered, stored, filtered, and treated your rainwater, it is ready for use. This is the step in the process where you really get to see the benefits of harvesting rainwater. There is a multitude of ways that you can utilize your rainwater around your house and in your garden to help conserve water, lower bills, and benefit the environment as a whole.
Harvesting Methods for Rainwater
There are all kinds of ways you can collect and harvest rainwater, from simple methods you can do yourself to more complex methods that may require professional installation. We mentioned earlier that the simplest method is using your roof and gutter and connecting a form of storage to them to collect the water directly. These simple systems are better for outdoor use, such as watering plants, tending to the garden, and doing other outside chores. Then there are also more complex systems like portable water systems that come with built-in filters that are better for drinking water and human consumption.
How To Filter Your Rainwater
As we mentioned, some rainwater harvesting systems that are more complex come with built-in filtration systems, but simpler systems do not, so you will need to find an alternative method for filtration. You can utilize methods like reverse osmosis, deionization, boiling the water, and treating the water with chemicals.
How You Can Use Harvested Rainwater
You now understand how to harvest your rainwater, so you’ll also need to know how you can use it once you’ve successfully harvested it. Overall, you can essentially use your rainwater in much the same way that you would use water from a well or faucet. Some of these uses include:
- Drinking water
- Food preparation and cooking
- Baths and showers
- Brushing your teeth
- Washing cars
- Emergency water supply
- Gardening and landscaping
- Washing clothes
- Washing dishes
- Flushing the toilet
Now that you have a comprehensive guide on harvesting water rainwater, you can utilize these sustainable strategies in your own home. NuManna Foundation has a selection of emergency water filtration systems that can help you purify your rainwater.