What is Rainwater Harvesting?

What is rainwater harvesting


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Rainwater harvesting is using a building rooftop to channel rainwater into storage for later use. The land that buildings have a foundation on is considered an impervious surface because water cannot pass through it to get to the ground. Roads, sidewalks, and general development increases impervious surfaces that can lead to more flooding since rainwater cannot pass to the ground.


When rainwater is collected and stored safely for later use, it prevents this wasted water runoff that can’t pass through impervious cover. This sustainable water cycle is a more direct water source than using a utility water source.


Rainwater harvesting systems range from using your existing gutter system to channel the rainwater into a barrel to a large scale commercial system that can supply enough water to make a huge difference in water use.


The following is one example of a rainwater harvesting system that is in place for a two-story house.


Complete rainwater harvesting system Pioneer Water Tanks

The complete rainwater harvesting system for a two-story house.


The complete system consists of the gutter system channeling rainwater through (called the conveyance system) the first-flush drain, and then once that is complete, into the Pioneer Water Tank.


Rainwater harvesting Pioneer Water Tanks system

Rainwater harvesting Pioneer Water Tanks system


The first flush drain system for this project allows the first 20-gallons of rainwater to pass during a rainfall. This allows any debris or contaminates picked up on the roof or gutters to pass through and be drained out. Once it hits 20-gallons, the drain shuts off and the rainwater flows into the Pioneer Water Tank for the rest of the rainfall.


The Pioneer Water Tank has a pump to pull the rainwater back to the house for use, as well as an overflow pipe in case the tank becomes overfilled.


how to rainwater harvesting rainwater systems

The gutter system is organized by the downspout location.


All of the gutters are organized into what downspout they lead to. The downspouts are then channeled into the underground receiving pipe that then leads to the first-flush, and then the Pioneer Water Tank.


Rainwater harvesting systems Pioneer Water Storage Tanks

The rainwater harvesting conveyance system, without the house.


The gutter system leading to the underground piping system is shown without the house.


Pioneer Water Tank rainwater system rainwater collection

Underneath the Pioneer Water Tank for the rainwater harvesting system.


Underneath the Pioneer Water Tank, the rainwater from the gutters leads at first through the first flush drain and then into the tank once that’s complete. The outflow pipe is pumped back to the house. Outside of the Pioneer Water Tank is the overflow pipe that can handle if the tank takes on too much rainwater to prevent overfilling.


Rainwater harvesting has existed since humans have figured out that they need water. As our water needs increase while existing water sources are reduced, this practice should become more common as it was in the past. Many states already offer incentives such as making rainwater system products sales-tax free in Texas or offering rebates for local Florida communities. In its essence, rainwater harvesting is a solution for water issues.

We offer large capacity rainwater storage tanks that outlast all other options. All Pioneer Water Tanks include the Aqualiner, tank liner that is BPA-Free and NSF/ANSI 61 certified for potable water storage.

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