Water Harvesting Ideas for Jal Shakti Abhiyan
“Almost 60% of you is water. And this is a FACT. Save water for yourself and your future.”
‘Water – the elixir of life’
Water is the most precious natural resource which is needed by each and every one. It is always a good idea to recycle water and reuse it for various purposes. It is vital to save water as it can save money on your utilities as well as helps in maintaining a sustainable environment. Harvesting rainwater is an easy process wherein you need to channel the runoff, a container to hold it and then a way to diffuse it to the places it is needed the most.
Part 1 of 3: Selecting a Catchment Area
Designate a section of your roof
- Pick up an area on the roof. The simplest method to begin rainwater harvesting right now without adding any additional cost to the home, the roof is the most common catchment area that can be used. It can be adopted easily, a big thanks to the facility of gutters and other fixtures.
- Always set up a waterspout underneath a steep part of the roof directly where the harvested water tends to accumulate.
- In case you need to hide the view from the water collection select an area behind or off to one side of your home.
Look for places where water collects naturally.
- Collecting water at the base of any sloped surface is easy so, it is not restricted to the use of gutters.
- Look in the property areas where streams, shallow pools, streams and there is an overflow of water starts automatically when there is heavy rainfall. These areas can prove out to be an effective catchment area.
Pave open reservoirs to create a cistern.
- We need to work on minimizing the amount of loss of water through seepage, so for that, a thin layer of gravel or sand should be made over the bottom of an open-air pool or stream. Also, to avoid mud draining into the fresh water and stopping it from being contaminated by other surface pollutants by making a lining at the catchment area on ground-level.
- In dry seasons, the water loss occurs due to evaporation before the time anyone has had the chance to use it. So, creating a cistern is important.
Part Two of Three: Channeling the Runoff
Use your home’s gutters
- Gutters are used for channeling the runoff. Most of the homes already have the facility of gutter that acts as a means of channeling excess runoff. The best way for setting the system of rainwater harvesting, it just requires few containers so that it can catch the drains off of the roof.
- The standard size for the gutter is 5” with 3” downpipe is good enough for most of the average-sized homes. And in the case where there is more surface area on the roofs, then it may need larger gutter of the size 6” with 4” downpipe to control the water flow.
- Some good materials to make the best surfaces for collecting water can be sheet metal roofing, wood shakes, asphalt shingles, and clay tiles.
Give Direction through a secondary conveyance system to water.
- There should be a proper route from the source point to the point where it will be stored. This can be done by using a series of pipe that will carry the water where it will be useful. To prevent the harmful components getting into the runoff water use the copper, aluminum or PVC pipes for making the connections.
- A sloppy channel helps the flow of water to be in continuous movement that’s why the channel must have enough inclination.
Keep the water close to its intended destination.
- Place your containers with utmost care as once they are filled it will be difficult to transfer elsewhere. Thus, the placements of the storage system are important and try to keep it in close approach to the desired destination.
Part Three of Three: Collecting the Water
Set out one or more high-capacity containers.
- The most common method of rainwater harvesting is the use of plastic rain barrels. 190L of water can be held by a single rain barrel. There are different types of barrels that are easily available at gardening centers. Some are specially-designed barrels that have in-built filtration screens and spigots.
- You can even use wooden or plastic trash with lid.
- To fill and drain the containers at the same time join multiple barrels with a pipe of short length.
- Your container should be made up of non-transparent material so that it can block the sunlight and restrict the growth of algae inside the barrels.
Elevate the barrels for better water pressure.
- Next step is to increase the water pressure. At the selected catchment area dig a small trench and load it with full-packed gravel. Cover it and set the barrel on the top area either with cinder block or stacked wooden pallets. This elevation will cause the water to flow easily.
- Use of gravel is made to absorb the water overflow.
- Also, it will help in the saturation of the house foundation.
- With this increase, the height of containers makes it easy to keep the bucket in position.
Install a dedicated cistern.
- Adding to the extra cost by installing a dedicated cistern. You will be able to find a better location for the tank or even dig to make space for it. And it will definitely prove to save large quantities of water than the traditional methods.
- Developing a below-ground system can be a costly affair. It is for the people who tend to use harvested water in their daily needs.
Filter the harvested water.
- Now, once you are done with everything then there is a need to filter the harvested water. For the basic filtration system, you can a piece of sheet cut out from a fine mesh that can cover the opening of the container.
- Another option for in-tank filtration devices that can be used are such as first-flush diverters, activated charcoal, etc…Natural rainwater can be cleaned through these chemicals that helps in removing bacteria and other undesirable elements.
- It is necessary to keep the container covered all the time in order to block the way for mosquitoes and prevent water exposure from bacteria and other polluting elements.
- Make it a habit to drain and clean the storage containers on a regular basis to keep them hygienic.