Q:

How do you harvest rainwater using a cistern system?

A:

Quick Answer

Rainwater collection systems utilize a series of downspouts and gutters to channel water from the roof to a cistern, storing it for future use. Water reclamation systems that make use of filtration devices may be suitable for harvesting drinking water, while simpler setups are ideal for irrigation. Harvesting rainwater with a cistern system is a passive process that typically involves no further effort beyond installation of the system.

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Full Answer

The simplest methods for harvesting rainwater involve placing a rain barrel beneath a downspout in order to collect runoff from the roof. Larger and more complex systems may be incorporated into a plumbing system to provide the water needed for a variety of household needs. Roof catchment systems are typically used to collect rainwater used for landscaping, gardening and farming.

Water quality may be of concern when collecting rainwater for drinking purposes and other household uses. Rainwater and atmospheric dust that are collected using roof catchment systems may contain contaminants, many of which an pose a health threat if consumed. Lead and other pollutants may also accumulate as cistern bottom sediments. Untreated and unfiltered rainwater can cause corrosion that may damage plumbing pipes and fixtures. Proper filtration, storage methods and equipment selection can ensure that water quality does not become an issue.

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