Investing in a rain catchment system can provide you and your family with an independent source of clean drinking water in the event of an extended drought or disaster that eliminates access to usable water. Earthquakes, terrorist attacks, devastating tornado outbreaks and drastic climate changes could potentially interrupt the flow of decontaminated water we take for granted whenever we want a drink, a bath or a home-cooked meal.
While the human body may survive for several days or longer without food, it cannot endure more than three to five days without water before suffering severe medical issues and eventual death due to dehydration.
One way to implement a rain catchment system is to collect rain as it runs off sloping roofs. Because this type of water is likely polluted with bacteria and debris, it will be necessary to treat the water before using it.
Underground or aboveground vessels used to catch water runoff from roofs can be as small as a jar or as large as a metal tank. Pipes are connected to gutters to divert the water flow into the containers for maximum efficiency.
However, the amount of rainwater collected from a roof depends on the roof's material. Aluminum, slates and tiles provide the best type of roof material with which to catch a reasonable amount of rainwater. Roofs coated with a protective substance may give the water an undesirable color or taste. Additionally, certain chemical coatings could cause the water to be totally unusable even after purification.
Tips for Rainwater Harvesting
In order to gain the most from your rain catchment system, implement these practices:
Purifying the Rainwater
All containers used in a rain catchment system should be tightly covered, especially around the opening where piping enters the container. Mosquitoes possibly carrying diseases are attracted to the water during warm weather, as well as other insects during drought conditions. Boiling, filtering, adding bleach or using purification tablets accomplishes thorough decontamination of rainwater.
Surface Rain Catchment System
Groundwater catchment arrangements utilize not only rainwater but also run-off from streams or lakes. The system involved is more complicated than roof catchment systems but can provide more water in times of scarce rainfall. Increasing the slope of the land as well as clearing vegetation may also increase the amount of water collected. Additionally, physically compacting the soil by using rollers and graders will reduce erosion rates and facilitate surface runoff.
Implementing a rain catch-ment system that provides a lifesaving and cheap form of water resource can rectify survival situations in which clean water is scarce or totally inaccessible.