Rainwater harvesting is a technology used to collect, convey, and store rain from relatively clean surfaces such as a roof, land surface, or rock catchment for later use.
Harvested rainwater is rainwater that is captured from the roofs of buildings on residential property. Harvested rainwater can be used for indoor needs at a residence, irrigation, or both, in whole or in part.
South Florida gets more than 60 inches of rain a year, yet most of it is wasted! Now you can harvest it for your home or business.
Traditionally, rainwater harvesting has been practiced in arid and semiarid areas. It has become an integral part of societies in remote places where piping water and reliance on wells is not an option.
Consider Harvesting Rainwater for Many Uses:
- Wash Vehicles
- Fill Ponds, Fountains, and Swimming Pools
- Flush Toilets
- Wash Laundry
- Shower and Bath
Advantages of Rain Water Harvesting:
- Harvesting rainwater reduces your water bills and allows you to use the stored water at your discretion—it is not public water, so you do not have to follow water restrictions.
- Harvesting rainwater reduce your impact on groundwater sources, minimize your vulnerability to drought, and create a sustainable landscape.
- Rainwater harvesting presents an opportunity for augmentation of water supplies allowing for self-reliance and sustainability. Sustaining the environment contributes to the overall conservation of our precious natural resources.
- A rainwater system along with other sustainable systems can increase the value of a building.
- Rainwater harvesting is good for irrigation and plants thrive because stored rainwater is free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals, and other natural, and man made contaminants.
- Rainwater harvesting is good for laundry use as rainwater is soft and lowers the need for detergents.
- You receive credits under the Water Use Reduction category of the LEED Green Building Rating System™.
How Does it Work?
Rain water passes from a roof, through a gutter system, into large cisterns (water tanks), then water is withdrawn from the source (i.e. cistern) by a pump that delivers the water to sprinkler heads for irrigation of landscaping. Since a properly designed system does not rely on any groundwater resources, most installations can be exempt from certain watering restrictions.
In our area, where heavy rainfall is followed by periods of water restrictions, reusing rainwater makes sense.
Regardless of the complexity of the system, the domestic rainwater harvesting system comprises six basic components:
- Catchment surface: the collection surface from which rainfall runs off
- Gutters and downspouts: channel water from the roof to the tank
- Leaf screens, first-flush diverters, and roof washers: components which remove debris and dust from the captured rainwater before it goes to the tank
- One or more storage tanks, also called cisterns
- Delivery system: gravity-fed or pumped to the end use
- Treatment/purification: for potable systems, filters and other methods to make the water safe to drink