Retain the Rain: 5 Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

Water is a precious natural resource that’s used in a variety of ways in our daily lives. According to the United States Geological Survey, the average person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water each day for regular tasks such as bathing, drinking, and waste disposal. Some governments choose to limit the flow of water per minute. Rainwater harvesting, where legal, allows others to contribute to the solution by lessening their dependence on the local municipal water supply.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater from the surface on which it falls and storing it for later use. Usually, the rainwater is collected from the roofs of buildings and stored in tanks. The gutters on a building directs rainfall to the tanks where it can be stored and later used for a variety of purposes, such as landscaping, wildlife and livestock watering, household use, and fire protection.

Why Rainwater Harvesting?
While three-quarters of the planet is made up of water, not all of that water is suitable for use. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the planet’s five oceans make up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and 97 percent of its water. Of the remaining three percent, less than one percent is fresh water while two to three percent is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. Between the lack of fresh water, and human consumption, there is a shortage of usable water available in many areas. Rainwater is free from most pollutants making it a free source of usable water, which is why rainwater harvesting is so important.

While rainfall is mostly clean water, it can pick up bacteria from the catchment, such as gutters, as well as the tank. Water held in many storage tanks can accumulate coliform, a bacteria that is frequently found in streams, lakes, ponds, and water tanks. Because it may host bacteria, much of it is not potable (safe for drinking or cooking) as-is. To use the water as a source for consumption, such as drinking or cooking, tanks with coatings and liners approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should be used, and should have a way to filter the water.

Advantages of Rainwater Harvesting

Reduce Water Bills
Even if the water is not filtered and it remains non-potable, you can use rainwater to wash cars, windows, and water lawns. Using recycled water for these tasks can result in reducing your water usage by 40 percent, saving money on water bills. When watering a yard or garden with recycled water, savings is up to two gallons per can when using a watering can, five gallons per minute when using a hose, and 264 gallons per hour when using a sprinkler can be had. When washing objects, typical savings is about four gallons using a bucket and 142 gallons per hour when using a hose.

Store Water for Times of High Demand or Low Supply
There are several reasons that a rural water supply can be affected, including drought or more drain on the water table than can be naturally supported. Collecting rainwater and storing it in a tank will helps ensure that water is on hand when needed for residential or commercial use. 

Reduce Flooding
Heavy rain can cause significant flooding in low-lying areas, or areas without proper drainage installed. If a building lacks the proper slope to direct water away from it, the water can collect in courtyards or patios, creating  flooding which can be damaging. Rather than the expensive project of a creating a slope, this problem can be solved by having the gutters direct the water to a water storage tank for reuse.

Improve Plant & Garden Growth
Most of the water used for plants reduces their ability to grow with the inclusion of salts, minerals, chlorination, and other man-made contaminants. Rainwater is free of most pollutants when it falls and is still relatively clean when in proper storage. Irrigating plants with this naturally produced water may improve their ability to grow.

Be Environmentally Friendly
Most rainwater harvesting systems are friendly to the environment because they don’t require the need for fuel-based machines. Roofs make for excellent catchment systems and the roof’s gutters can carry water to the storage tank. Since rainwater is already relatively clean, it can immediately be used for certain tasks, such as irrigation and watering gardens, without the need of filtration.

What’s the Solution?

flat top tank for rainwater

If you have a roof and gutters, you already have most of the necessary components for an effective rainwater harvesting system. All you need now is somewhere to store the water. A popular choice for storing rainwater is a corrugated steel tank. As the rainwater runs off the roof, it flows through the gutter-based drainage system toward the structure. It then enters the tank, made of rust-resistant galvanized steel, where it enters the tank for proper storage. The overflow pipe ensures a safe exit for any overflow water once the tank is full. These tanks are often preferred to other sources due to ease of maintenance, life-expectancy, and its toughness as it can stand in winds of 95 miles per hour and through winter storms. Their structural stability allows them to hold a wide range of sizes, ranging from 700 gallons to 100,000 gallons of capacity. 

There are also other options for rainwater storage, such as pillow tanks, fiberglass tanks, and poly tanks. Corrugated steel tanks have the advantage of durability and lasting longer the other rainwater storage solutions. 

From drinking and bathing to irrigation, water is an essential part of our every day lives. Rainwater harvesting is a way to increase the amount of water to be used in potable and non-potable ways.

If you’re thinking of reaping the benefits of rainwater harvesting, a corrugated steel tank will allow you to safely store your collected rainwater for future use. For more information about acquiring corrugated steel tanks, call us at 772-646-0597 or email us at to get a quote today.

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