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. There are various ways of harvesting rainwater with rooftop water harvesting being the most common way. 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. Harvesting of rainwater from a rooftop is made possible by use of gutters which collects the water as discharges it in a collection point.
Various types of materials are used in the making of rainwater tanks where the rainwater collected is usually stored. Plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminium metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction are some of the main materials used in the making of rainwater tanks. Durability and affordability are some of the major factors that have an influence on the choice of a rainwater tank to be used. The most durable water tanks are usually the concrete tanks although they are less preferred to plastic tanks. Tanks used in rainwater harvesting are either placed on the ground surface or can be placed underground. 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.
Rain water tanks which are left open can have allowed entry of a lot of materials such as plant parts or animals hence should always be covered leaving a hole for the pipe bringing water into the tank. Plastic rainwater tanks are more preferred since they are readily available and come in different sizes according to one’s specification. Algae growth is common when plastic tanks are placed on the ground hence should be placed on a surface that keeps away algae such as concrete. Solar radiation exposure reduces the lifetime of plastic tanks hence should be placed in places where there is little or no direct sunlight. Other rainwater tanks made of other materials used should be well fitted to avoid contaminants getting into the water more so if the rainwater collected is for human consumption.
Sterilization of harvested rainwater is important to make it safe for human consumption. Loads of contaminants usually find their way into harvested rainwater since most of them are usually on the rooftops after being deposited there. Chlorination and filtration are some of the ways of removing contaminants. The most used method in sterilizing water is chlorination since it is quite effective and also affordable. It is also advisable to ensure that when collecting rainwater, the first time it rains water should not be collected into the rainwater tanks since they have high loads of contaminants.