You are on page 1of 9





Rainwater Harvesting Method


Rainwater is harvested using an installation of pipes and tanks in an arrangement that allows for
automatically diverting the first flush of rain that is contaminated with dirt etc deposited on the
catchments area followed by collection in a storage tank for further use. The installation also includes a
system of supply to water user outlets via pumping or gravity depending upon thearrangement. In certain
instances, provisions may also be made for chemical dosing and water filtration.

Various subsystem of the rainwater harvesting system is shown below:

(i) Catchments Subsystem

The rooftop is the catchments subsystem. For non-potable use, any roofing material can be used
as the catchments subsystem. As for potable use, the best roof materials are metal, clay, and
cement materials although all roof material types have been used (except asbestos). The roof
material used in the study is of cement tiles.
Catchments subsystem depends on the roof configuration of the house. In this study, due to the
typical roof design, only the front section of the house is considered. The total roof area is 60 m.
(ii) Conveyance Subsystem
The function of this subsystem is to convey the rainwater from the catchments sub-system
(rooftop) to the storage tanks. Basically this subsystem consists of 3 main components. These
components are the gutter, downpipes and the conveyance pipes. Rainwater from the rooftop is
channeled to the gutters (6" or 150mm) and then through the downpipes and finally through the
conveyance pipes to the storage tanks.
Aluminum and galvanized iron are usually the best materials for the gutter due to its good
corrosion resistance property. For the conveyance pipes, usually UPVC pipes are used. However
in this study, UPVC type materials were used as gutter and conveyance pipe due to their
flexibility during installation. The gutter slopes at 6 mm. per meter and gutter hangars are
provided at 1 m center to center.
At the downpipe inlet a net should be placed. The net is to trap rubbish, leaves and other debris
usually found on rooftops. Sharp bends along the run of the gutters should be avoided. This is
because, rubbish usually gets stuck at corners and therefore this would affect the flow of the
(iii) Filtration
Rainwater from the rooftop (the first 1 mm of rain) is usually contaminated with dirt, bird
droppings, leaves and other materials. The first flush (60 gal. or 276 litres) of rainwater from the
roof surface is directed into the first flush tank of 200 litres (see figure below) to filter out these
materials from the rainwater before it is stored in the storage tanks.

(iv) Storage Tank

In this study, two number of PVC tanks (see figure below) with a 2500 litres capacity each were
installed as storage tanks.

(vi) Roof tank

Additional roof tank (250 litres) were installed on the roof in addition to the existing domestic roof tank.
The additional tank provide separate rainwater supply for non-potable household use.

(vii) Plumbing to toilets, washing machine and general use.

The study house also has a separate plumbing system to cater for rainwater usage. Since rainwater was for
non-potable use, the plumbing system was installed in such a way that there will be a bypass connection
for each flushing cistern. In case of water shortage or non-availability of rainwater, the public water

supply can be always be switched on. The rainwater plumbing system also connects to the washing
machine pipe and pipe for general cleaning.

Rainwater pipe connection to toilet

Rainwater pipe for washing machine Rainwater pipe for general cleaning

Water management is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the management of water
resources. People in this field are concerned with ensuring that a supply of clean, potable
water will be available to people who need it, while balancing the needs of industry and the
environment. A number of different topics fall under the umbrella of this field, from sewage
treatment to wetlands restoration. Many national governments have departments that are in
charge of water resources, and regional governments often have smaller offices of their own to
focus on this issue.
One area of water management involves handling the water in the natural environment. This
includes monitoring the amount of water in the environment, seasonal and annual changes in
water levels and other characteristics, and keeping an eye on the cleanliness of water supplies. It
can also include things like keeping waterways fully navigable, eradicating invasive species from
protected environmental areas, and flood control measures which can range from building levies
to expanding wetlands to create a trap for floodwaters.
Other people in this field are more concerned with how humans use water. A large area of it is
concerned with the use of water in industry and agriculture. Since conservation is of growing
importance in many regions of the world, many water management specialists see agriculture
and industry as prime areas for water recycling and reclamation. Monitoring water use in these
areas also allows governments to be proactive about industrial and agricultural pollution.
Humans also need water for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. Water management
includes delivery of water to residential customers, water sanitation, regulation of water usage in
home gardens, and water conservation measures that are designed to help communities use less
People in the field include hydrologists, sanitation engineers, civil engineers, economists,
environmentalists, ecologists, biologists, botanists, and administrators.
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather
than allowing it to runoff. Uses include water for garden, water for livestock, water for irrigation,
water for domestic use with proper treatment, and indoor heating for houses etc. In many places
the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation. The harvested water can be
used as drinking water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation.

In Malaysia, Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) and Ministry of Natural Resources
and Environment (NAP) is reponsible for Water Management.
3 Aspects of Water Resources Management :
Water in Environment Enhancement.
Water in Agriculture and Food Production.
Protection from Water as a Destructive Force.
Water in Environment Enhancement
1. Surface Water Resource Assessment.
2. Groundwater Resource Assessment.
3. Sustainable water Resource Assessment.
4. Provision of adequate irrigation water.
The need to improve quality of life of farmers.
Need to implement integrated coastal zone management to ensure sustainable
exploitation of coastal resources & environmental preservation.
Client demand for quality water resources.
Increasing nutrient load from river to the sea.
Need to implement restoration/ rehabilitation river environment.
i.Information & knowledge collation and distribution, planning and design
ii.Preparation of guidelines and manuals
iii.Awareness programs
iv.Implementation of projects on:

i.River conservancy
ii.River restoration and rehabilitation
iii.River recreation and landscaping
v.Provision of technical advice on proposed developments in the coastal zone
vi.Preparation of guidelines on coastal zone management guideline (DID, 2007)
Water in Agriculture and Food Production.
The need to meet the NAP 3 objectives
Increase in income leve
Competition for resources
i.Infrastructures development
ii.Irrigation/ drainage management (DID, 2007)

Protection from Water as a Destructive Force.

Rising public demands for protection from flooding, coastal and riverbanks erosion and
river mouth siltation
Increasing value of land and properties especially in urban areas
Need to manage impact of land use changes
Increasing development pressure and activities in coastal area such as land reclamation,
upstream development and sand mining activity.
Vast potential in tourism industry in coastal area
Commitment of government to the policy of environmentally sustainable development
(DID, 2007)

i.Flood forecasting and warning
iii.Flood Protection
iv.Technical Advice
v.Integrated Shoreline Management
vi.Provision of coastal defense works
vii.Provision of river mouth improvement works
viii.Provision of technical advice (DID, 2007)

References :
1.WATER ENGINEERING.Buletin Ingenieur Vol.22 June-August 2014 .Lembaga jurutera
2.Urban ecosystem studies in Malaysia :A Study of Change by Nooazuan Hashim,Ruslan
Rainis.Universal Publishers,2003.

3. Rainwater harvesting system (06 NOVEMBER 2008).Posted on SISTEM PENUAIAN AIR


introduction.html#system-design. (04 Nov 14).