Collecting of rainwater during the rainy season is important in providing water for agricultural use, domestic and household uses and also for commercial and industrial uses. There are various ways of harvesting rainwater with rooftop water harvesting being the most common way. The major rainwater harvesting benefit is provision of water for later use when there is water scarcity or contaminated water and helps individuals enhance their water self-sufficiency. Economic enhancement, as well as environmental conservation, is greatly enhance by rainwater harvesting. Gutters are important in rainwater harvesting as they collect the rainwater and direct it to a collection point.
Rainwater harvested is usually stored in rainwater tanks which are made of various types of materials. The various materials used in the making of the rainwater tanks includes plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminum metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction. Durability and affordability are some of the major factors that have an influence on the choice of a rainwater tank to be used. Concrete rainwater tanks are usually more durable than the other tanks although rainwater tanks more preferred are those made of plastic materials. Tanks used in rainwater harvesting are either placed on the ground surface or can be placed underground. Underground water tanks usually require that the water be pumped from the tanks since they cannot be fitted with a valve or a water tap.
Covering of the rainwater tanks is important leaving only the entry point for the water pipe so as to avoid entry of unwanted materials into the rainwater tank such as leaves or even animals. Plastic rainwater tanks are more preferred since they are readily available and come in different sizes according to one’s specification. Plastic rainwater tanks should be placed on a concrete surface so as to avoid algae growth. Solar radiation exposure reduces the lifetime of plastic tanks hence should be placed in places where there is little or no direct sunlight. Rainwater tanks made from other materials can contain contaminated water unfit for human use hence safety measures should be put in place when using them.
Sterilization of harvested rainwater is important to make it safe for human consumption. This is because there are so many contaminants that settle on the rooftop and ones it rains they usually find themselves into the water. Contaminants can be removed through chlorination or filtration of the harvested rainwater. Chlorination is usually preferred since it is not a costly method and it is also effective in sterilization. Loads of contaminants usually settle on the rooftop hence it is important to ensure that water is not harvested during the first rain so that the contaminants cannot find their way into the rainwater tank.