Rain is an alternative source of water. It can be collected, filtered, and treated to become useful for various purposes. The most efficient way to collect rainwater is by channeling it from the roof using gutters and pipes that are installed on the roof. The pipes and gutters channel the water to a designated collection point for containment. Collecting rainwater from the roof is the most efficient way because the water is relatively clean and only contaminated by any dirt, dust, and debris that exists on the roof.
Depending on the intended functions of the rainwater, it is undertaken through a treatment whose thoroughness depends on the intended use. For instance, water to be used for irrigation needs little to no treatment whereas water to be used for drinking needs a thorough treatment process.
The collected rainwater is often contaminated with germs debris and other chemical contaminants. It’s usually soft water which is low in p.H. The collected rainwater can serve a number of functions.
The water treatment process can be summarized into three main processes that serve particular functions. The three main stages include Sedimentation, filtration, and chemical action.
The sedimentation process is done to remove the debris in the water. Rain water usually contains debris from fallen leaves on the roof, to dust, rocks, brunches, and sticks, or any other foreign item blown onto the roof by the wind. This is usually a passive process where the rainwater is put in a container and left for some time.
Since most debris is denser than water, it usually settles at the bottom of the container leaving the water at the top clean. When the debris settles, the clean water can be separated through decanting in which case the clean water at the top is gradually and gently poured out into another cleaner container without it mixing with the settled dirt.
This process rids the water of most of the debris and dirt. After this stage, water can be used for irrigation, Flashing and cleaning the toilet, washing a car, or cleaning around the house. That water can even be used for doing laundry. The fact that rainwater is soft water makes it all the more ideal for doing laundry. This is because soft water easily forms lather with soap and thus less soap is required for doing laundry.
The filtration process involves the removal of smaller debris that can’t easily be seen and can’t be removed in the sedimentation process. There are a number of filtration types that depend on the filtration method used. Among them include mechanical filters, reverse osmosis, and distillation among others. The object of this process is passing water through a material with holes only big enough for water molecules to pass through but prevent all other particles from passing through.
There are various filters on sale but a homemade filter can be made using a clean piece of cloth through which water is passed, leaving the dirt in form of residue on the cloth. To make this process more effective, some chemicals can be added to the water prior to filtration in order to bind the micro contaminants to make the particles bigger and easily filtered out.
The third stage is chemical action. At this stage, most of the dirt particles have been removed, and there only remain germs and other chemical pollutants. This involves treating the water with chemicals mainly to kill microorganisms and disinfect the water. The main chemical used for disinfecting water is chlorine. Water that passes through this stage is extremely clean and safe for drinking, cooking, and doing dishes.
Pros and cons of Rainwater.
Rainwater is a free source of water that can be used for various purposes. This effectively cuts down on a homeowner’s water bill with the only minor expenses incurred during the treatment process.
Rainwater gives a homeowner control over their water supply and usage. This means the homeowner is no longer vulnerable to large-scale water outages.
Rainwater is ideal for activities that are water-intensive like plant irrigation and watering which would otherwise not be feasible when using a paid plan.
Rainwater is an environmentally friendly way of collecting and making use of water as a natural resource. Water is a renewable resource also makes it sustainable.
Collecting and making use of rainwater can help when it comes to drainage control. The process channels excess water and thus controls it.
Rain water comes in a dirty and unsafe form and sometimes improvised home treatment methods might be ineffective during water treatment.
The initial cost of setting up gutters, pipes, and collection points is quite costly.
Rainwater collection also involves maintenance activities like cleaning up and maintaining clogged gutters and pipes as well as replacing damaged equipment.
Rainwater is a free and renewable source of water and making it usable involves a treatment process. Before making a decision to install pipes and gutters on a property to harness rainwater, a homeowner ought to assess the pros and cons.