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Rainwater Harvesting

Collecting of rainwater during the rainy season is important in providing water for agricultural use, domestic and household uses and also for commercial and industrial uses. The mainly practiced rainwater harvesting is the rooftop water collection for various uses where water is collected in tanks. The major rainwater harvesting benefit is provision of water for later use when there is water scarcity or contaminated water and helps individuals enhance their water self-sufficiency. Economic enhancement, as well as environmental conservation, is greatly enhance by rainwater harvesting. Harvesting of rainwater from a rooftop is made possible by use of gutters which collects the water as discharges it in a collection point.

Various types of materials are used in the making of rainwater tanks where the rainwater collected is usually stored. Plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminium metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction are some of the main materials used in the making of rainwater tanks. Factors affecting the choice of a rainwater tank includes affordabilitily as well as the durability. Plastics tanks are highly preferred to other types of tanks, but they are less durable as compared to concrete water tanks. Underground placement or aboveground placement are two major ways in which rainwater tanks are set to collect and store water. It is a little hard to fit underground rainwater tanks with taps or valve, so water has to be pumped from the tanks so as to use it.

Rain water tanks which are left open can have allowed entry of a lot of materials such as plant parts or animals hence should always be covered leaving a hole for the pipe bringing water into the tank. Plastic rainwater tanks are more preferred since they are readily available and come in different sizes according to one’s specification. Algae growth is common when plastic tanks are placed on the ground hence should be placed on a surface that keeps away algae such as concrete. Solar radiation exposure reduces the lifetime of plastic tanks hence should be placed in places where there is little or no direct sunlight. Other rainwater tanks made of other materials used should be well fitted to avoid contaminants getting into the water more so if the rainwater collected is for human consumption.

Harvested rainwater usually have a lot of contaminants hence should be sterilized for human consumption. Loads of contaminants usually find their way into harvested rainwater since most of them are usually on the rooftops after being deposited there. Chlorination and filtration are some of the ways of removing contaminants. Chlorination is usually preferred since it is not a costly method and it is also effective in sterilization. Loads of contaminants usually settle on the rooftop hence it is important to ensure that water is not harvested during the first rain so that the contaminants cannot find their way into the rainwater tank.

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