Rainwater harvesting is a water solution for your home

Rainwater harvesting is the collecting and storing of rainwater for use in your home or business. With the current devastating drought in Cape Town and the increasing severity of drought conditions in Durban, everyone needs to try to save water and use it sparingly. Harvesting rainwater is an effective and easy way of collecting water for your home. And it’s sure to increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Collecting rainwater is not a new practice, it’s from ancient times and still used in many rural villages today. Today, rainwater harvesting has been adopted by many city dwellers and homeowners in urban areas, so as to help curb the major consumption of water. The simplest way of collecting rainwater is by using a big barrel, placing it in your garden, and waiting for the rain.

This captured water can then be used for activities such as household cleaning, garden irrigation, car washing, and for the flushing of toilets. But you can incorporate a more sophisticated rainwater collection method into your plumbing system. However, regardless of which type of system you decide to use, you’ll need the basics to get started.  

You need to get the basics right first

The basics for rainwater harvesting include a catchment area for the rainfall. In most cases, this is your home’s roof, and you’ll need a way of getting the water from the roof into the storage vessel you choose (most often people use a barrel, cistern or tank). This conveyance system can be made of piping or by installing eavestroughs on your roof.

You’ll then need to decide on what you’ll use the collected rainwater for in order to create a distribution system. Your setup up will change depending on how much rainwater you think you’ll need. This can be done by finding out what your residential water consumption is and then calculate how much rainwater you’ll need to collect. Allow for a loss of about 20 percent of the water due to overflow or leaks or seepage. But using 80 percent rainwater in your home is an enormous saving for the environment and your monthly water bill. 

The advantages of rainwater harvesting are numerous

Rainwater harvesting is a good idea. Not only because our country is currently facing severe droughts but because water wastage on a global scale is no longer something to be swept under the rug. 

By investing rainwater harvesting you can drastically reduce your water bill as you use less of the municipally treated water. You can keep your garden and plants healthy and thriving even when water levels are low and days are dry. You should consider using the rainwater for menial, non-urgent tasks such as washing your car or cleaning your driveway of oil marks and the like. 

You can use rainwater for drinking purpose but a filter system must be in place. Using course and fine mesh filters can be fitted to the conveyance system you have in place so that the water that reaches your storage tank is clean. In lower income areas, this type of water collection is a major saving and a great way to prevent diseases spreading from people drinking contaminated water out of desperation. 

There are business sectors that have suffered terribly with the drought because they need water to complete their projects. Many of these companies are in the heavy industry which means pausing a project results in a loss of time and an enormous amount of money down the drain. But water saving and collecting solutions such as rainwater harvesting is not sufficient to support these industries. What are the solutions available? Well, there aren’t many but one solution that is assisting businesses all over South Africa is mobile water systems. Companies, the likes of Proxa Water, can offer just about every industry or project a mobile water system as soon as necessary. This company offers sustainable water services that mean no downtime on projects and no loss of investment. 

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