Rain water harvesting and storage solutions

Water is by far the most precious commodity on our planet. Life is possible only because of the existence of water. It inevitably becomes every inhabitant’s duty to conserve water. As water is a non-renewable resource exclusive to nature, rainwater harvesting is the storing of water from inanimate surfaces as well as free droplets which help in restoring water.

Rain water harvesting is the process of replenishing water from runoff sources like roofs, structures, watertight areas in order to save it for later use. This is as simple as the use of barrels in open plains which hold wastage of raindrops from seeping in and turning to groundwater. It is required that all countries provide water supply and sanitization to all. The (SDG) - Goal 6 of Sustainable Developmental Goals focuses on these goals to alleviate the human well-being conditions along with higher sustainability for a greener and cleaner future by 2030. However, the inadequacies rooted in top management have restricted availability of water resources causing disparities in inter as well as intra sectoral allocations leading to local and global water conflicts. Today more than ever before, diagnosing water shortage problems and providing storage solutions are the need of the hour which will aid in helping and formulating policies for efficient water management.

After the harvesting which is essentially the collection of water from clean surfaces, it needs to be stored. Storage locations for rainwater are in mainly three areas -

Above ground, Partially buried or Underground.
  1. Above ground tanks are widely used for domestic purposes like gardening.
  2. Partially buried tanks are installations of above ground tanks wherein there is atmospheric exposure and in ground temperature regulation.
  3. Underground or fully in ground tanks are useful for wider space since it is dug up. However, it becomes more expensive due to costs of manpower.

The solutions are different to the types of tanks. These are storage solution systems which can be of several types.

1. Directly Pumped

The pumping of water is directly connected to the system. This is called the Directly Pumped System. There are submersible pumps which are fixed inside the storage container and provide water through pipes for domestic use on a daily basis. Suction pumps are located in the utility area for example the washroom, this pump directly connects to the water outlets in the washroom and other parts of the house.

2. Ponds and storage pools

These medium to large sized open area ponds are an easy way to store free falling water that is runoff from rains. The natural way of the pond solution storage is that its quality retains with processes like soil filtration, sedimentation, decomposition and solar disinfection. The ponds are used for fishing cultivation, animal husbandry and even irrigation.

3. Indirectly Pumped

This type of rainwater harvesting system doesn’t rely on gravity to supply water to the outlets. Instead, it pumps the harvested water to a tank which can be at any level in the building. Furthermore, a booster pump is used to provide a pressurized water supply. One of the most significant benefits of this system is that it offers great flexibility to tailor the booster pumps to adjust the flow and pressure requirements of a building.

4. Indirect Gravity

Solution to store water which flows through the force of gravity is called Indirect gravity. Similar to indirectly pumped solution, just an addition of pumping to a head tank ensures that water whenever needed to the feeder tanks by way of taps and pipes.

5. Only Gravity

A situation where there is an already filled barren, which is transportable to a location can be placed at a higher position to be connected by pipage which allows water to flow whenever needed. This cuts out the energy consumption and supply of any outer plugin systems. Hence there are no costs involved. Minimal charges are of setup and mobilization. which functions purely through gravity may be needed. The only gravity solution works on the principle of being self-sufficient. Gravity usage is one of the most natural and cost-free ways of storing water for usage into taps and pipes when in need. The entire process is not dependent on wiring or complex dynamics of tank structures.

Different Storage Tank materials for Rainwater Harvesting

The storage solutions can be of varied material depending on their size and other customizations. Polyethylene tanks are very popular and distinct for their black look. They range anywhere from 2,500 to 10,000 gallons storage. A better durability and higher load capacity tank are the fiber glass material tanks with up to 50,000 gallons of storage velocity. Steel tanks are bolded at the top edge for a conical roof like structure. They have grade liners present at the sides and bottom of the tank.

Water bladder tanks are used in industrial and commercial institutions with huge storage capacity of 3,00,000 gallons of stored rainwater. They are made of special coated fabric meant for such high manufacturing zones. The requirement of water is immense and these tanks complete the fit for such high-volume needs.