Commercial Rainwater Harvesting
Commercial Rainwater Harvesting
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. This has been a cry during the rainy season, especially in developing countries with little or no water. There is so much water flowing all around it at times causes flooding but it is not available for domestic or commercial use. Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. Domestic uses include drinking (it’s very pure), laundry and small scale gardening. For commercial uses, the water can be used for irrigation, cleaning buildings and in aesthetic features such fountains.
Why commercial rainwater harvesting? People harvest rainwater for a variety of reasons. One is personal – for domestic use and small scale irrigation. It is also done to reduce expenditure on municipal water bills. All of us want to pay less for our bills if we can. Another reason is environmental conservation. Water is a scarce resource and with climate change it is getting even more scarce. Therefore there is need to conserve this special resource.
What are the components of a commercial rainwater harvesting system? A typical rainwater harvesting system will have a method of water collection, a storage container and a mode of collection for the water. Some systems include filters and water treatment parts but these are extras depending on the use of the water.
Most commercial rainwater harvesting collection methods involve use of gutters for collection of rainwater from roof tops. Commercial buildings are huge and the roofs can collect a substantial amount of water. Though this water is fairly clean, care needs to be taken to know the material the roof is made of as some could make the water unfit for human consumption. Also leaves and other impurities may be on the roofs and so it is important to have leaf guards and sieves to sift out impurities.
This water is then channeled to a storage area using pipes. This is the second part of the rainwater harvesting system. These pipes can be made of different materials, the most common being steel and plastic.
The final essential element in commercial rainwater harvesting is the storage component. Once the rainwater has been collected it is stored for future use. The storage can be above or below ground. Storage tanks need to be durable to enable them store water for long periods of time. The main material used for storage tanks for commercial rainwater harvesting is concrete. It is very strong and highly durable. It is also readily available making it suitable for use for commercial purposes. However as the concrete needs to be made (it’s made of water, sand and cement), it may take time to establish the tank.
The other option for storage is plastic tanks. These are also readily available and come already fabricated. You only need to choose the size that fits your requirements. However, though they last for a very long time they are not as durable as concrete tanks.
Whatever your business or industry there is always the opportunity to harvest rain water and make use of it. Commercial rainwater harvesting will provide you with free water from above and help you reduce your costs and save energy as well. If you build a large enough system you can even sell all your extra water to homes or other businesses for a lot of extra cash.
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