Rainwater harvesting is very important in all aspects of water use including in the agriculture sector, domestic water use as well as commercial and industrial water use. Rooftop water harvesting is the commonest rainwater harvesting practice. Rainwater harvesting is important as it helps collect water for later use mostly when there is scarcity as well as enhancing one’s self-sufficiency. Rainwater harvesting for various uses has some implication in economics mostly when water generally used is charges and also environmental in enhancing conservation. Rainwater is usually collected from the rooftop using gutters into a given 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. Factors affecting the choice of a rainwater tank includes affordabilitily as well as the durability. Concrete rainwater tanks are usually more durable than the other tanks although rainwater tanks more preferred are those made of plastic materials. Underground placement or aboveground placement are two major ways in which rainwater tanks are set to collect and store water. Removing water from underground rainwater tanks is only through pumping it to an aboveground tank so as to use it since valves or taps cannot be fitted.
Rainwater tanks should be covered at all times leaving just a small hole where the pipe discharging water can pass through so as to avoid unwanted materials from dropping into the water. 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. Other materials using in making rainwater tanks have their shortcoming mostly in releasing contaminants to the harvested water hence safety precaution measures should be put in place to minimize contamination.
Rainwater collected from rooftops for human consumption should always be sterilized through various means. The contaminants come about as a result of many settling on the rooftop hence find their way into the harvested rainwater. Some techniques for removing contaminants from the rainwater to make it safe for drinking is by chlorination as well as filtration. The most used method in sterilizing water is chlorination since it is quite effective and also affordable. 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.