Rainwater Harvesting System

Rainwater harvesting is the gathering, or accumulating and storing, of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting is used to provide drinking water, water for livestock or water for irrigation or to refill aquifers. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source especially during droughts that have become frequent phenomenon in the project area. Rainwater systems are simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater can be of good quality and may not require treatment before consumption. However some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that is harmful to human health. Household rainfall catchments systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200mm per year, and no other accessible water sources. 

Roof catchments systems channel rainwater that falls onto a roof into storage via a system of gutters and pipes. The first flush of rainwater after a dry season is allowed to run to waste as it will be contaminated with dust, bird droppings etc. Roof gutters have sufficient incline to avoid standing water. They must be strong enough, and large enough to carry peak flows. Storage tanks are covered to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce evaporation losses, contamination and algal growth. Rainwater harvesting systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system hygienic and in good working order.

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