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What Every Homeowner Needs To Know About Rainwater Collection Systems

When it comes to water conservation and sustainable living, rainwater collection is a great process. If you've been considering rainwater collection for your house, it's time to evaluate your gutters. The gutter system on your house is a key component to your collection structure, so you need a system that's going to work for you. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your gutter selection so that you can start a successful rainwater collection system.

The Basics of Rainwater Collection

Rainwater collection is a process of gathering the water runoff from your roof. The water is great for most any purposes other than drinking and cooking. You can't consume the water collected in your rainwater system, but it will limit the additional demands on your drinkable water. Additionally, you could incorporate a purification system to make it safe for consumption.

One of the best things about rainwater collection is that it gives you water that you can use for lawn watering, car washing and other similar uses even when your neighborhood is under a drought restriction.

How to Set Up Rainwater Collection

  • Target Your Downspouts – One of the most important things to do for successful rainwater collection is to ensure that you have downspouts pointed appropriately. Make sure that each section of your roof has a properly-positioned downspout that will flow directly to your collection system. Sometimes, the easiest way to test it is to have someone dump a bucket of water in various areas of your roof so that you can be sure that water flows freely from gutters to the downspouts so that every section of the roof is covered.
  • Establish Your Tank – You'll need a solid, durable cistern to collect your rainwater in. Think about how much water you're going to want to collect, and select a tank that's larger than you think you'd need. That gives you room for overflow or major storm issues. Add a wire mesh screen over the top to protect your water supply from insects and other contaminants. You'll also want to add an air tap and set up an overflow system to prevent backflow after heavy rains. A filter and pump system will allow you to keep any finer particles out of the water you use while being able to pump water from the cistern easily.
  • Protect Your Gutters – If you want to collect the rainwater that flows through your gutters, you have to keep the gutters clean. Leaves, debris and sticks can block up the gutter, keeping the water from flowing. Not only that, but your gutters can become a target for insects, and you'll want to keep them out. The best way to do this is by installing fine mesh covers over the top of each gutter.
  • Avoid Contaminants – Another key component of rainwater collection is a flush diverter. These tools are installed immediately before the rainwater collection reservoir. The tank of the flush diverter will fill up first, gathering the first running water off your roof. This is important, because the first running water off the roof will be full of contaminants that it flushes off the roof, including bird waste and other debris. Once the diverter fills up, the remaining water will flow to your collection system. The idea is that the flush diverter should be large enough to catch all of the initial rain flow, leaving only cleaner water to flow into your collection reservoir.

Rainwater collection isn't as complex as you might think. With the tips here, you'll be able to set up a collection system of your own. Talk with a gutter installation service, such as Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc., about seamless gutters when you select the gutters and covers for the system.