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RAIN WATER HARVESTING

Introduction:
Water is essential to all life forms on earth - human, animal and vegetation. It is therefore important
that adequate supplies of water be developed to sustain such life. Development of water supplies
should, however, be undertaken in such a way as to preserve the hydrological balance and the biological
functions of our ecosystems.
As land pressure rises, cities are growing vertical and in countryside more forest areas are
encroached and being used for agriculture. In India the small farmers depend on
Monsoon where rainfall is from June to October and much of the precious water is soon
lost as surface runoff. While irrigation may be the most obvious response to drought, it
has proved costly and can only benefit a fortunate few. There is now increasing interest in
the low cost alternative- generally referred to as 'Rain Water Harvesting' (RWH).
Rainwater harvesting [RWH] is the process of collecting, filtering and storing water from roof tops,
paved and unpaved areas for multiple uses in a scientific and controlled manner for future use. It is a
simple, technically feasible, economically affordable and an eco friendly option. The harvested water
can also be used for potable purposes after testing and treatment. It provides a source of soft, high
quality water, reduces dependence on wells and other sources, and, in many contexts, is cost effective.
Catching Rainwater when and where it falls for use during non-monsoon months is called RAINWATER
HARVESTING.
Need for Rainwater Harvesting:
To overcome all the problems i.e; Scarcity of water, As urban water supply system is under tremendous
pressure for supplying water to ever increasing population, Groundwater is getting depleted and
polluted, Soil erosion resulting from the unchecked runoff, Health hazards due to consumption of
polluted water, To reduce stress on power consumption & To improve vegetation cover - Rainwater
Harvesting is absolutely necessary.
Methods and Techniques of Rainwater Harvesting:
There are two main techniques of rain water harvestings i.e.; Roof top harvesting & Recharge to ground
water. Roof top harvesting is traditional method and is used now also. But Recharge to ground water is a
new concept of rain water harvesting and now a days used tremendously.
The methods of ground water recharge mainly are:
URBAN AREAS
Roof top rainwater/storm runoff harvesting through
• Recharge Pit.
• Recharge Trench.
• Tubewell.
• Recharge Well.
RURAL AREAS
Gully Plug, Contour Bund, Gabion Structure, Percolation Tank, Check Dam/Cement Plug/Nala Bund,
Recharge Shaft, Dugwell Recharge, Groundwater Dams/Subsurface Dyke.

Roof top harvesting:

coarse sand. Trenches: . long depending up availability of water. Gutters can be in semi – circular or rectangular in shape. Dug wells: . gravels & coarse sand. gravels & coarse sand. Conveyance system . Recharge Shafts: . cement plugs.5 to 1 m.The components of this system are:-Catchment area. wide. These are filled with filter materials.These are the pipelines or drains used to carry rainwater from the catchments area to the . The size of the gutter should be according to flow during the highest intensity rain.Delivery system . 7.For recharging the shallow aquifer which is located below clayey surface. 1 to 1.The existing hand pumps may be used for recharging the shallow/deep aquifers.It is the surface that directly receives the rainfall and provides water to the system. diameter and 10 to 15 m.These are constructed when the permeable stream is available at shallow depth. • Conduits: . • Gutters: . The lateral shafts are filled with boulders.The channels around the edge of a sloping roof are called as gutters. deep which are filled with boulders. 3.Recharge wells of 100 to 300 mm. Spreading techniques: . Recharge wells: . It can be in the form of a terrace or a lawn or open ground. Recharge to ground water: The structures generally used in this method are:- 1. 5. Deep and 10 to 20 m. Pits: . long depending upon availability of water with one or two bore wells is constructed. • Coarse mesh: . It could be made either using galvanized iron sheets or PVC material.It is present at the roof and it functions as a barrier to the passage of the debris.5 to 3 m. It is advisable to make them 10 to 15 % oversize. 2. 6.Filter unit . Spread the water in streams/ by making check dams. bunds.5 to 2 m. These are constructed 1 to 2 m. 4. Hand pumps: . wide and to 3 m. Trench may be 0.Storage . if the availability of water is limited. galvanized iron or corrugated sheets can also be used for rainwater harvesting. recharge shafts of 0.Usage & Recharge . wide & 10 to 30 m.First rain separator . deep are constructed and filled with boulders.For recharging the upper as well as deeper aquifers lateral shafts of 1. Lateral shafts with bore wells: . gabion structures or a percolation pond may be constructed.5m. The main functions of gutters are to collect and transport rainwater to the storage tank. It is important to support the gutters so as to prevent them from falling off due to water load. gravels.Existing dug wells may be utilized as recharge structure and water should pass through filter media before putting into dug well. Water should pass through filter media before diverting it into hand pumps.When permeable strata start from top then this technique is used.Recharge pits are constructed for recharging the shallow aquifer. diameter are generally constructed for recharging the deeper aquifers and water is passed through filter media to avoid choking of recharge wells. A roof made up of reinforced cement concrete (RCC). URBAN RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM The components of a typical urban rainwater harvesting system are as follows: - • Catchments: . 8.

worms and mosquitoes. The first spell of rain carries large amount of pollutants from the air and catchments area and hence first flushing is very essential.The shape of these tanks can be cylindrical. rectangular or square. plastic and metal sheets. partly underground or fully underground. Rainwater reaches the centre core and is collected in the sump where it is treated with few tablets of chlorine and is made ready for consumption. A system is designed with three concentric circular chambers in which the outer chamber is filled with sand. Commonly used material of construction includes reinforced cement concrete (RCC). • Remove Algae from the roof tiles and asbestos sheets before the monsoon. coarse sand and gravel layers to remove debris and dirt from water before it enters the storage tank or recharges structure. • Change the filter media every rainy season • Cover all inlet and outlet pipes with closely knit nylon net or fine cloth or cap during non-rainy season to avoid entry of insects. the filtering system should accommodate the excess flow. Charcoal can be added for additional filtration. • Filter for large rooftops:-When rainwater is harvested in a large rooftop area. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and galvanized iron are the common material used to prepare the conduits. • Storage facility: . Depending upon the availability of space. • First flushing: . Use the first flush arrangement to drain off this first rainwater.The filter is used to remove suspended matter present in the rainwater. This way the area of filtration is increased for sand. • Recharge structures: . • Drain the tank completely and clean from inside thoroughly before the monsoon • Clean the water channels (gutters) often during rainy season and definitely before the first monsoon rain • Avoid first 15 or 20 minutes of rainfall depending on the intensity of rain. A filter unit is a chamber filled with filtering media such as fibre. recharges trenches and recharge pits. these tanks could be constructed above ground.The ground aquifers may be recharged by the rainwater through suitable structures like dug wells. • Filter: . This will ensure availability of water throughout the water scarcity period.A first flush device is a valve that ensures that runoff from the first spell of rain is flushed out and do not enter the system. the middle one with coarse aggregate and the inner-most layer with pebbles. Maintenance Tips for Rainwater harvesting structures • Always keep the surroundings of the tank clean and hygienic. in relation to coarse aggregate and pebbles. bore wells. • Leakage of cracks in the ferrocement storage tank shall be immediately attended to by cement .storage tanks. • Withdraw water from the system at the rate of 5 litres/head/ day.

because. 7. Environment friendly and easy approach for water requirements. 6. It can also be used for showering or bathing. Reduced soil erosion. It increases soil moisture levels for urban greenery. RWH is the ideal solution for all water requirements. Reduces water and electricity bills. Improves the ground water quality. Reuse. • Water should not be allowed to stagnate in the collection pit. Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting: 1. This will avoid major repairs due to the propagation of cracks. . in wet conditions it rots and spoils water quality. • In coastal areas. 8. harvested rainwater can be used for flushing toilets and washing laundry. 12. Low cost and easy to maintain. 9. • The filter materials shall be washed thoroughly before replacing in the filter bucket • The coconut coir in the filter unit definitely needs regular replacement in rainy season. operate and to maintain.SAVE LIFE . Mitigates the effects of drought. 11. HARVEST RAINWATER-Make a difference for better tomorrow. groundwater levels and yields. Roof top RWH systems are easy to construct. SAVE WATER . 4. the tank may be painted outside by corrosion resistant paint once in 3 years and in other areas lime (Calcium Carbonate) based white wash may be applied not only for beauty but also for cleanliness. 2.plastering. • Heavy loads should not be applied on the lid. • The tap should have lock system so that pilferage or waste of water is avoided. Conserve.SAVE EARTH. Reduces flooding of roads and low-lying areas. Improvement in infiltration and reduction in run-off. 3. 5. particularly many people should not stand on the lid. At a household level. Recycle WATER. 10. Every drop is precious.