What Are The Perks Of Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater Harvesting

The process of collecting water from rainfall is called rainwater harvesting. This is a traditional process that has been in practice for years. The water is collected and stored for future needs in places where water is not easily available. Recently the practice of rainwater harvesting has become more popular. Many homeowners in Cork are dependent more on the stored water rather than ground water, and it is basically collected in large tanks & then stored inside the containers.

There are numerous perks of rainwater harvesting, the most important of which have been discussed below in detail –

Free of cost 

free of cost
No extra charge is required to collect the rainwater. If you have sufficient storage space to hold it for future use, then you need a few other pieces of equipment, which are generally not very expensive. Besides, the water bills or taxes can easily be eliminated from your annual expenses.

Clean water

clean water
Rain water is the most healthy, hygienic and clean source of water which can be used for nearly any purpose. You don’t need to filter it for utilisation in regular household tasks, such as cleaning, washing the car, watering the plants, bathing and so on.

Can be used for numerous purposes

drinking
Water is an essential part of our daily life. If it becomes scarce, a lot of our quotidian tasks would be hampered. Thus, storing water and keeping it aside for future use is one of the best ways of utilising the aqua to the fullest. With rainwater, you can have the water filtered thoroughly with an appropriate filter to use it for the purposes of drinking and cooking.

Can be used for irrigation

rainwater
Because rainwater is natural and chemical free, so it can easily be used for irrigational purposes as well. Additionally, it can also decrease the rate of soil erosion and reduce flooding during heavy rainfall.

Environmental friendly

ecofriendly
Rainwater, without any doubt, is an environment friendly resource and it’s usage doesn’t cause any damage to mother nature at all. It is much better and always prudent to use fresh and natural (plus, filtered) rainwater for drinking and cooking purposes. Using hygienic water is always a good practice that must be followed by every individual.

Thus, the process of rain water harvesting is one of the best environment friendly things that one can do.

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A Brief Introduction To Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater HarvestingAs we all know, water is undoubtedly the most precious and priceless natural resource available to all forms of life on Earth. In the recent times, many countries, including Ireland, have to deal with the issue of water scarcity, especially in regions like Cork & Perry. And though there are quite a number of solutions that can be implemented for combating the problem, there’s one which is very cost-effective and simple to use – rainwater harvesting.

By definition, rainwater harvesting refers to a process involving three steps designed to collect rainwater accumulating on surfaces like roofs, storing it properly and distributing it later for outdoor & indoor applications. Rainwater is a sustainable, safe and economical source of clean and quality water – all one needs to do is know how to capture & store it in the right way. It is much safer compared to the water distributed via mains, since the latter is treated using chemicals for eliminating bacteria and later pumped through pipes that might contain harmful contaminants like rust.

In general, rainwater harvesting is a simple water-saving technique that can be carried out easily on clean roofs. But what if the roof of a property is dirty? There is a solution for that too – installation of several rain diverters or first flush devices which are readily available in the market. These devices are designed specifically to flush or divert the foremost water flow from a storm. As such, any bacteria, dirt or other contaminants present on the dirty roof does not get a chance to enter the storage tank.

There are several social, environmental and economic benefits which can be reaped from the practice of harvesting rainwater. One of its greatest perks is less reliance on other man-made systems such as storage dams. This, in turn decreases the need to expand the present infrastructure of water storage. Another golden benefit is that it can help to cut down on water bills. The stored water can be utilised for various non-drinking purposes such as washing clothes, watering gardens, flushing toilets, washing cars and so on. It is also ideal for use in irrigation due to being devoid of any chemicals.

Thus, it is evident from the above mentioned information that rainwater harvesting is a great way to tackle paucity of water and also put less pressure on other natural sources of the same.

The Basic Processes Taking Place In A Water Treatment Plant

Water treatment plant

We all have, more or less, a brief idea about what happens inside a water treatment plant – basically, it purifies water and sewage so that clean water can be allowed back into the environment. What many of us don’t know is that the plant actually eliminates contaminants & solids first, then breaks down the organic matter present in the water, and finally performs a complete restoration of oxygen content. And these things, in turn, are achieved through a specific series of operations –

1) Preliminary treatment

2) Primary treatment

3) Secondary treatment

4) Sludge treatment

Let’s take a quick look at these four phases:

Pretreatment
During the phase of preliminary treatment, easy pickings such as garbage, leaves, tree branches, plastic bottles, diapers, cans, waste materials, rags, etc. are extracted by bar screens. Some plants have air blowers for whipping fats and grease into froth so that they can be removed easily. Glass, sand and stones are settled out through regulation of water inflow by grit chambers & equalisation basins.

Primary
In this stage, water collected within sedimentation tanks and large basins are first separated from small particles by allowing the pollutants to settle out. Mechanical scrapers then gathers the solid matter for directing it to hoppers, which are, in turn connected to sludge treatment chamber. Some plants for water treatment in Cork use surface skimmers to extract oil and grease during the primary phase.

Secondary
Secondary treatment mainly moves waste water inside secondary basins after aerating it, adding beneficial microbes in the process to initiate breakdown of organic matter. An array of strategies are employed for breaking down sludge as well. Certain facilities construct reed beds and wetlands for decomposing organic materials. Biological aerated filters and membrane bioreactors are the other forms of technologies utilised.

Sludge
This is the ultimate phase in which the sludge, or biosolids and remnant water are treated. At first, gravity segregates heavy grit from organic matter, so that they can be disposed off in landfill. The residual primary sludge is allowed to pass into a thickener and then fed into digesting tanks with anaerobic bacteria after centrifugation. The remaining impure water is thoroughly treated with nitrogen, phosphorus and various other nutrients, in addition to being disinfected until it can be finally returned to water supply.

Thus, these are the most fundamental processes involved in the purification of water within water treatment plants.