- Make Your Own Rain Barrel
- Rainwater Harvesting Workshops
- Examples of Systems in Alabama
- System Components
- Use, Storage, & Distribution
- System Design & Costs
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There are several steps involved in creating a suitable rainwater collection system. There are also numerous solutions and methods you can use to create a system.
For best results, consider the following steps:
- Ensure that the catchment surface is suitable for collecting quality rainwater.
- Ensure roof gutters are installed to the appropriate standards according to the regulation fall and number of outlets.
- Install a fireproof mesh or gutter cover system to prevent leaves and debris from blocking outlets.
- Fit gutter outlets under the roof gutter to prevent sludge buildup.
- Fit rain head to gutters to divert leaves and debris. Use a screen with less than 1 millimeter apertures to reduce mosquito infestations.
- Fit insect proof screens to all pipes that hold water and all pipes and openings to and from the tank.
- Fit appropriately sized first flush water diverters. Diverter tubes should redirect 0.1 to 0.5 gallons per 10 square feet of roof surface.
- Select an appropriate tank based on collection area, rainfall, water use, and climate.
- Choose a pump that provides sufficient pressure for desired lift, rise, and run of the water lines and type of irrigation system.
- Draw water from the highest point in the tank possible. Floating outflow filtration systems will do this best.
- Ensure the system is maintained. Service gutters, rain heads, water diverters, tanks, and pumps regularly.
- Insulate and protect all water lines and pumps from freezing temperatures.
- Check local ordinances and tax laws to see if you can get tax credits or rebates for installation of your system.
Cost of the System
We have constructed a small, tank system for under $400 (see Figure 1) and 1,500-gallon systems for commercial crops that cost about $3,000, not including the irrigation lines. Your system costs will depend on whether you need some or all of the following:
- Above ground or in-ground
- Tank material (polyethylene, fiberglass, metal, concrete)
- Rise of land to irrigation site
- Lift (if water must be raised out of the tank)
- Run (greater distances reduce pressure)
- Pressure tank
- Leaf collection
- First flush diverter
- Insect screens
- Inline filters
- Floating filter
- Plumbing-pipes and fittings
- Irrigation supplies
- Learn about making your own small-scale rain barrel!
- Find out about Rainwater Harvesting Workshops!
- Learn about examples of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Alabama!
- Get details about the components of a Rainwater Harvesting system!
- Explore how you can use, store, and distribute harvested rainwater!
(Adapted with permission from Rain Harvesting Pty Ltd. www.rainharvesting.com)