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Neil Bertrando
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Joined:
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Last Updated:
19/12/2011
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Reno, Nevada, United States
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Rainwater catchment outline

Posted by Neil Bertrando over 6 years ago

a brief thread on rainwater catchment

Hi all,

 

Please comment, correct, and update this thread.  It is meant to be a work in/for progress.

 

Thought I'd start a thread with info on drinking rainwater. 

one of the highest quality water sources out there. much better than groundwater if collected and stored properly. 

upwind contaminant sources: not collected directly downwind from industrial pollution sources...it's not the rain, it's the air that is contaminated...we're breathing this anyway... 
clean surface: metal, slate, bamboo, glass are preferred, can also use clay...other catchment materials? 
contaminant exclusion: First flush filters and screens http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_flush_device http://rainharvesting.com.au/products/pre-filtration/first-flush-water-diverter http://www.eco-web.com/edi/02431.html also, clean gutters via maintenance or leaf screens are beneficial 
non-leaching tank with biofilm: Non-leaching tanks include Polyethylene, ferrocement, stone (of certain types), metal (usually aluminum or galvanized steel) A major portion of non-leaching is the development of a biofilm usually including algae, this means the inside of the tank needs some access to sunlight to grow photosynthetic algae 
screened openings: prevent rodents and insects from getting into the system 
elevated outlet pipe: needs to be 3" minimum above bottom of tank to avoid disturbing the settled sediment and biofilm 
pH management: pH needs to be above 6.0, ideally 7-8. use limestone or marble chips since rainwater is naturally about 5-6. keeping the pH above 5.5 ensures heavy metals are not dissolved. above 8 insures few, if any pathogenic bacteria can grow. 
I need to find some more detailed references on this, but for now http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/gdwq3rev/en/ 
overflow/airvent: can be the same or two different components: screened. 

Some of my favorite resources on rainwater collection and drinking using tanks 

OAEC Water Institute: http://www.oaecwater.org/publications 

review of a decade of rainwater harvesting research: http://www.hydropolis.com.au/Papers/SIA_Coombes1.pdf Awesome! includes info and data on the "treatment train effect" 

Brad Lancaster's books and website are great resources as well
http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

as in my ferrocement thread, this is lacking some cold climate context details

 

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Neil Bertrando
Neil Bertrando : Thanks Jason,

good info on first flush in cold climates. may need a heat cable? or other "freeze-protection mechanism" . a more expensive thought is to create a first flush basin and siphon that dips 4 ft. below ground on it's way to the tank to keep water from freezing.

Definitely considering the half buried ferrocement tank for my current homestead site and other projects in the northern US. Buried to frost line ~2-6 feet deep with a pipe that runs through a terrace to the outlet. for really cold climates the indoor or underground option seems like the optimal with a hand pump or other pump for access. for drinking a hand or bicycle pump would provide sufficient supply. for irrigation it's another story, but irrigation during the cold season...pond water seems more realistic.

didn't know about decra-stone. is there a brand, manufacturer, or sheet metal press template that you recommend?
Posted over 6 years ago

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