If you are homesteading, living off-grid, or living in semi-arid regions, you know the importance of having a water collection and storage system that would help provide a steady source of water all year round.
However, securing this source of water could be a challenge. Having a system that collects and stores rainwater is a great option for this.
However, make sure you consider the legalities of setting up a rainwater collection system especially if you live in urban areas so that you don’t have to pull-down your rainwater collection system thereafter.
Below is a video that discusses 10 tips for rainwater collection;
Below are some frequently asked questions about rainwater collection;
What are some tips to consider when installing a rainwater collection system?
- Take roofing material into consideration.
- Choose a barrel designed for holding water.
- Locate barrel with safety in mind.
- Block up rain barrels several inches.
- Attach spigots and hose connections finger-tight only.
- Clean gutters periodically.
What can you do with collected rainwater?
There are many different uses for collected rainwater no matter what type of rainwater harvesting system you have;
- Drinking and cooking.
- Bathing and laundry.
- Flushing toilets.
- Watering lawns, gardens, and houseplants.
- Water for wildlife, pets, or livestock.
- Outdoor ponds and water features.
- Rinsing vegetables.
Is it safe to shower with rainwater?
Most people are comfortable with washing clothes or flushing toilets using rainwater. But experts say that rainwater is completely safe for bathing and showering. Also, bathing in rainwater has some great health advantages. Rainwater is soft by nature, this means there are less minerals dissolved in it than hard water.
How do I filter rainwater from my roof?
- How to Filter Rainwater from a Roof
- Filter the water before it enters the storage tank.
- Oxygenate the water.
- Siphon off any floating particles.
- Fit a moving fine mesh filter before the pump.
Is rainwater drinkable?
Most rain is perfectly safe to drink and maybe even cleaner than the public water supply. Rainwater is only as clean as its container. Only rain that has fallen directly from the sky should be collected for drinking. Boiling and filtering rainwater will make it even safer to drink.
How can I get a free rain barrel?
There are many businesses where you can get barrels for free. Check with soda pop manufacturers, car washes, car dealers, food processing plants, and animal supply outlets. Watch ads online and in your local paper for free barrels.
Does rainwater need to be treated?
Rainwater may contain pollution, animal excrement, and other particles that are harmful to humans, plants, and animals. Therefore collected rainwater needs to be treated before it is safe to use for business. There are two primary steps to rainwater treatment: filtration and sterilization using chlorine or UV light.
Are rain barrels illegal?
The Federal Government does not have any restrictions on rainwater harvesting. Some states have minor regulations in terms of the amount of rainwater collecting and how it is collected, but most states allow their citizens to collect rainwater while others even encourage it.
How can you preserve rainwater at home?
To collect rainwater, you can attach a rain barrel to your home’s downspout so when it rains the water flows directly into the barrel. If you want to collect rainwater without a roof or downspout, you can use a tarp instead.
Can you use rainwater to wash dishes?
Yes, you can. Aside from the dirty dishes, you need dish soap, rainwater that’s safe enough to be used for dishwashing, a sponge (preferably one that has a scrubby side), and a drying towel. Wash the dirty dishes in batches, not immediately after their use.
Is rainwater clean or dirty?
Most rain is perfectly safe to drink and maybe even cleaner than the public water supply. Rainwater is only as clean as its container. Only rain that has fallen directly from the sky should be collected for drinking.
Is rainwater harmful to hair?
The first rains wash away the harmful impurities and chemical pollutants in the atmosphere. This polluted rainwater is obviously dangerous for your hair. After a few heavy showers, it is safe to expose your hair to rainwater. Technically, rainwater is the purest form of soft water.
Can you filter rainwater?
Believe it or not, rainwater can be filtered into the best-tasting, freshest water you’ve ever had. In our home state of Ohio, there are literally thousands of homes that rely on rainwater for their sole water supply, and thousands of more homes that utilize rainwater for the majority of their watering needs.
How long is rainwater good for?
Rainwater that has been properly purified (i.e. UV, Ozone, chemical) can be stored indefinitely as long as it is stored properly in an airtight container or system (i.e. pressure tank and piping). It is the opening of faucets or top of containers that could introduce bacteria into the system.
How do you clean rainwater?
You could use an activated carbon filter or charcoal filter. This system is made of coconut shells, carbon, and other eco-friendly solution. Another method of filtering rainwater is through solar pasteurization.
What states is it illegal to collect rainwater?
Only four states have specific restrictions against collecting rainwater: Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah.
What happens when the rain barrel is full?
When the rain barrel is full, the diverter shuts off, and the rainwater will simply flow through the gutter like it normally would. However, when there is heavy rainfall, many times the rain barrel overflow valve can’t keep up, and excess water can bubble over the top of the barrel rather than out the release valve.
Can you drink water from a rainwater tank?
Generally yes. A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. Providing the rainwater is clear, has little taste or smell, and is from a well-maintained water catchment system it is probably safe and unlikely to cause any illness for most users.
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