Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
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The Cabell Brand Center 2007
A A c co om mp pr re eh he en ns si i v ve e g gu ui i d de e t t o o e ex xa am mi i n ni i n ng g, ,
d de es si i g gn ni i n ng g a an nd d m ma ai i n nt t a ai i n ni i n ng g
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Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
i

V VI IR RG GI IN NI IA A R RA AI IN NW WA AT TE ER R H HA AR RV VE ES ST TI IN NG G M MA AN NU UA AL L






Compiled bv The Cabell Brand Center




August 2007























Contributing Authors. Adrienne LaBranche. Hans-Otto Wack. Ph.D.. David CrawIord.
Ed CrawIord. Nickolas J. Soika. DVM and Cabell Brand.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Ac ck kn no ow wl le ed dg ge em me en nt ts s .......................................................................................................... 1
U Ur rg ge en nt t F Fr re es sh hw wa at te er r P Pr ro ob bl le em ms s............................................................................................ 2
T Th he e T Tr re en nd d ......................................................................................................................... 4
Future oI Rainwater Harvesting ...................................................................................... 5
Systems............................................................................................................................ 5
Residential.................................................................................................................... 6
Commercial.................................................................................................................. 7
Industrial...................................................................................................................... 8
Agricultural.................................................................................................................. 9
Fire Suppression........................................................................................................ 10
V Vi ir rg gi in ni ia a R Ra ai in nw wa at te er r H Ha ar rv ve es st ti in ng g A Ap pp pl li ic ca at ti io on n................................................................... 11
Environment .................................................................................................................. 11
Economic....................................................................................................................... 12
Taxes .......................................................................................................................... 12
Cost of water.............................................................................................................. 13
LEED Certification ........................................................................................................ 14
Low Impact Development ............................................................................................. 14
T Te ec ch hn ni ic ca al l S St ta an nd da ar rd ds s a an nd d R Ru ul le es s ...................................................................................... 15
Components................................................................................................................... 16
Plumbing.................................................................................................................... 16
Tanks.......................................................................................................................... 16
Convevance svstems................................................................................................... 18
Filters......................................................................................................................... 19
Cleaning and Maintenance........................................................................................ 21
Gutters................................................................................................................................ 21
Downspouts ....................................................................................................................... 21
Filters ................................................................................................................................. 21
Tanks.................................................................................................................................. 22
Design & Installation................................................................................................. 22
W Wa at te er r Q Qu ua al li it ty y................................................................................................................. 23
Water quality standards ................................................................................................. 23
Oxygenation .................................................................................................................. 24
Treating potable water ................................................................................................... 25
Factors affecting water qualitv.................................................................................. 25
S Si iz zi in ng g a a S Sy ys st te em m.............................................................................................................. 27
Calculations ................................................................................................................... 27
Virginia RainIall Distribution........................................................................................ 28
Indoor Water Conservation ........................................................................................... 30
I Ir rr ri ig ga at ti io on n......................................................................................................................... 31
Scheduling ..................................................................................................................... 31
Water Conservation Tips............................................................................................... 32
Installation & Maintenance ....................................................................................... 32
Application................................................................................................................. 32
R Re eI Ie er re en nc ce es s ...................................................................................................................... 34
V Vi ir rg gi in ni ia a A Ap pp pl li ic ca at ti io on n & & C Ca as se e S St tu ud di ie es s............................................................................. 37
Commercial ................................................................................................................... 38
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
ii
Residential ..................................................................................................................... 42
Agricultural.................................................................................................................... 51
L Li in nk ks s............................................................................................................................... 53
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
iii
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig. 1: Rainwater harvesting system................................................................................... 3
Fig. 2: Small residential nonpotable rainwater harvesting system...................................... 7
Fig. 3: Commercial or large residential above ground nonpotable rainwater harvesting
system .......................................................................................................................... 7
Fig. 4: Commercial or large residential below ground rainwater harvesting system.......... 8
Fig. 5: Siphonic rooI drain .................................................................................................. 8
Fig. 6: Collection pond with aeration Iountain ................................................................... 9
Fig. 8: Below ground tank................................................................................................. 16
Fig. 9: Downspout Iilter .................................................................................................... 19
Fig. 10: Vortex and downspout Iilters............................................................................... 19
Fig. 11: Calming Inlet ....................................................................................................... 20
Fig. 12: Floating Iine Iilter with pressure pump ............................................................... 21
Fig. 13: Old and modern Iilter designs.............................................................................. 21
Fig. 14: BioIilm and angled overIlow pipe ....................................................................... 24
Fig. 15: Residential UV light potable water treatment...................................................... 25
Fig. 16: Average Virginia annual precipitation................................................................. 28

Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
iv
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Tank Comparison................................................................................................ 17
Table 2: PuriIication Options ............................................................................................ 25
Table 3: RooIing material and associated contaminants................................................... 26
Table 5: Industrial rainIall catchment (gallons) ................................................................ 29
Table 6: Recommended tank size (gallons) ...................................................................... 29
Table 7: Water Saving Appliance Comparison................................................................. 30
Table 8: Virginia Native Plants......................................................................................... 33

Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
1
A Ac ck kn no ow wl le ed dg ge em me en nt ts s

The Cabell Brand Center would like to thank a variety oI individuals and
organizations through which the Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual could not be
possible. These organizations and individuals oIIered expertise and Iunding to create a
well-rounded inIormational manual aimed to educate and promote rainwater harvesting in
Virginia and throughout the US.

This manual would not be possible without the Iinancial assistance oI the Virginia
Environmental Endowment and Gerald McCarthy. The Nature Conservancy also
supplied Iunding to allow this manual and rainwater harvesting to be promoted at the
2007 Greenbuild ConIerence in Chicago. Rainwater Management Solutions in Salem.
Virginia and the German based Wisy Company served as technical consultants in this
proiect. Their help was pivotal in supplying this manual with modern rainwater
harvesting technologies. Appreciation is also expressed to the late Nikolas J. Soika.
DVM and his assistance covering agricultural topics.

Without the continued dedication towards environmental awareness and
advocacy. the Cabell Brand Center would not exist without Mr. Cabell Brand himselI
heading the endeavors. He Iounded The Cabell Brand Center in 1987 and since then has
Iocused on local environmental issues. Without Mr. Brand`s saIe drinking water
advocacy. this proiect would not be possible.

Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
2
U Ur rg ge en nt t F Fr re es sh hw wa at te er r P Pr ro ob bl le em ms s

The water supply situation today is very diIIerent than it was 100. 50. or even 25
years ago. Populations continue to increase throughout the years. while water supplies
remain constant. The amount oI water available today is the same amount oI water that
was available 100 years ago. Since water is a Iinite resource. current and Iuture plans
must strive to maintain or improve available water quality while utilizing the available
water resources as eIIiciently as possible.

Since only 2.5° oI the world`s water is Ireshwater. ensuring that this small
amount oI available water is utilized eIIiciently and quality is maintained is a daunting
task. This is becoming even more important as populations increase worldwide. A
recent report by Credit Suisse |1| stated that by 2025 18 countries will experience water
demand beyond supply capabilities.

Worldwide water consumption is rising at double the rate oI population
growth|1|. Similarly. Virginia`s water consumption is continually increasing. In 2005.
59° oI the state`s water was used Ior public water with 36° coming Irom groundwater
sources |2|. These numbers are up Irom 2004 and 2003. where 57° and 54° oI water
was Ior public supply. with 33° and 12°. respectively. coming Irom groundwater |3. 4|
.
Due to the increasing demand Ior public water supplies. groundwater levels are
declining and municipal treatment plants are struggling to supply current demands while
dealing with declining inIrastructures. Decentralized rainwater harvesting oIIers an
oItentimes overlooked alternative and sustainable water source.

Some countries like Australia. Bermuda. Germany. Belgium and India are
requiring all new development in certain areas to be equipped with rainwater harvesting
systems to preserve declining groundwater supplies. These regulations were made in
response to the imbalance oI population demand and available water supply. Some US
housing developments are even incorporating rainwater harvesting in their low impact
development designs as means to reduce municipal water demand and deter stormwater
runoII. Furthermore. some state localities have restricted or prevented development in
areas with insuIIicient drinking water supplies. In March oI 2007. the Arizona Senate
approved a bill that would allow counties and cities in rural Arizona to restrict housing
developments without long-term water supplies |5|.

Although Virginia is considered a 'wet¨ state. as it receives on average 45 inches
oI rainIall a year. the increasing populations place increasing demands on water supplies.
As a result. planners. county and state oIIicials. residents. and developers must look at
alternative water sources to supply the demands.

Rainwater harvesting oIIers an aIIordable. simple. sustainable. and reliable
alternative water source. Not only does rainwater harvesting supply water Ior indoor and
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
3
First flush
fine filter
Floating
filter
Calming inlet
Overflo
w
Overflow
Air vent

outdoor use. it protects the environment Irom detrimental nonpoint source pollution by
reducing rooItop runoII.

Rainwater harvesting is ideal Ior large retail and industrial buildings. especially
ones with expansive parking lots. An industrial rainwater harvesting design starts with
siphonic rooI drainage. which is less expensive to install compared to traditional methods
(see Industrial Systems). Rainwater is diverted Irom the Ilat rooI to either an on-site
storage tank(s) or pond. Stored water is then diverted both indoors and outdoors to be
recycled Ior toilet Ilushing. linen washing. Iacility cleaning and irrigation. Not only does
the company save water consumption costs. but it also reduces stormwater runoII on the
site. The stormwater reduction aspect oI rainwater harvesting holds this alternative water
source above other alternative sources because rather than contributing to pollution
through salt discharge (desalination) or energy consumption. it is reducing pollution and
protecting local waterways. The ability oI this system to reduce stormwater runoII can
also be leverage Ior a company looking to attain building permits.

In the Iuture. reducing stormwater runoII through low impact development may
be included in building permits. Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable approach to
accomplishing this. while providing an alternative water source. Acting proactively to
protect the environment and conserve resources is beneIicial today and tomorrow.

This manual details the beneIits oI rainwater harvesting. both economical and
environmental. and addresses best management practices Ior rainwater harvesting design
and utilization.




















Fig. 1: Rainwater harvesting system
Graphic courtesv of WISY AG
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
4
T Th he e T Tr re en nd d

Today`s rainwater harvesting systems have evolved signiIicantly and oIIer
technologically advanced components. However. harvesting rooItop rainwater is more
popular in European countries like Germany and England than the United States.
Adoption is equally low in Virginia. with most adopters being rural dwellers with Iailing
wells with no local municipal line and large corporations wishing to conserve water and
reduce utility bills.

Harvesting rainwater has a long-term impact on the local water resources by
reducing demands Ior surIace and groundwater withdrawals. Also. harvesting rainwater
protects the integrity oI local waterways by reducing nonpoint source pollution. Including
rainwater harvesting in local and regional water supply plans oIIers an alternative and
sustainable water source while protecting the local environment.

Although rainwater harvesting has existed since the days oI the early Romans. its
popularity declined once central treatment Iacilities were able to supply treated drinking
water. Today. rainwater harvesting is gaining popularity again Ior a variety oI
environmental and economic reasons. Obviously. technology and techniques have
changed considerably Irom the days oI the early Romans. but the theory remains the
same.

What has spurred this shiIt back to the seemingly elementary process oI collecting
rainwater? Perhaps it is the rise in environmental awareness and the public`s desire to
protect current resources; perhaps it is the increasing drought occurrences; perhaps it is
the movement to conserve and promote sustainability; perhaps it is the desire to reduce
stormwater runoII; perhaps it is to save money by utilizing this Iree source oI water; or
perhaps it is a combination oI many oI these Iactors. Whatever the reason. rainwater
harvesting is indeed gaining popularity and can oIIer a sustainable alternative potable and
non-potable water source.

On Earth Day. April 19. 2007. the EPA Administrator signed a statement oI intent
to 'promote the use oI green inIrastructure approaches. such as rain-catching rooIs and
gardens. to lessen sewer overIlows and runoII aIter storms¨ |6|. The news article directs
readers to another site concerning green inIrastructure. but this site Iails to cover
rainwater harvesting techniques beyond simple rain barrels. Rainwater harvesting
systems are much more evolved than a rain barrel attached to a downspout. The Virginia
Manual on Rainwater Harvesting will address the wide variety oI rainwater harvesting
system designs Ior residential. commercial and industrial buildings.

While the EPA recognizes the need to harvest rainwater to protect local
waterways. modern rainwater harvesting literature is lacking. The Virginia Manual on
Rainwater Harvesting Iurther aims to educate Virginia residents about rainwater
harvesting techniques. The addressed rainwater harvesting theories will apply to all
states. as will many oI the included European techniques and standards.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
5

Future of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting systems serve as an alternative decentralized water source.
especially in the age when groundwater supplies are depleting and municipal water
inIrastructures are Iacing high replacement costs. Decentralized water sources. like
rainwater. are needed to guarantee long-term ecologically sound water supplies. The use
oI decentralized rainwater harvesting systems is growing nationally and internationally.
especially in industrial countries like Asia. Europe and the US.

Creating national and international rainwater harvesting system standards can
assist in developing low maintenance. saIe. and sustainable systems with minimum
ecological disturbance. International businesses have made strides in recent years in
producing high quality. sustainable rainwater harvesting components. which have
inIluenced the market`s expansion. However. the promise Ior economic gains Iueled
inIerior companies to produce non-sustainable. mediocre products.

Rainwater harvesting design and installation requires a network oI proIessionals.
Component preIabrication companies. architects. engineers. craItsmen. water providers
and local authority districts all are involved in designing. installing and regulating
rainwater harvesting systems

The Virginia Manual oI Rainwater Harvesting will detail rainwater harvesting
application. design. installation. available technology. social and environmental impact.
and water quality issues. In addition. installed rainwater harvesting systems. experiences
with the technology. and examples oI successIully designed and installed systems will be
highlighted.
Systems
Rainwater harvesting is suitable Ior all building types ranging Irom residential to
commercial and industrial and can be retro-Iitted to existing buildings or integrated into
new building designs. Collected rooItop water can be used Ior nonpotable (non-drinking
water) and potable (drinking water) demands. Additional water treatment components
must be installed to treat potable water to drinking water standards (see Water Quality).

Many households/businesses use potable water Ior nonpotable needs (see list
below). A maiority oI the water a household/business uses is Ior nonpotable needs.
Utilizing potable water Ior nonpotable needs wastes resources and places unneeded strain
on local treatment plants.

Nonpotable demands include:
 Building washing/power washing
 Cooling towers
 Fire suppression
 Household cleaning
 Industrial processing
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
6
 Landscape irrigation
 Laundry washing
 Pool/pond Iilling
 Toilet Ilushing
 Vehicle washing

Potable demands include:
 Drinking water
 Cooking
 Bathing
 Dish washing
Residential
Residential systems can be designed Ior nonpotable and potable needs. We
recommend that iI potable water is available. rainwater harvesting should be used solely
Ior nonpotable needs like toilet Ilushing. laundry washing and landscape irrigation.
Plumbing Ior potable and nonpotable rainwater sources must be completely separate
systems. Municipal or well water can also serve as a backup source oI water iI the
rainwater runs dry. An air gap or backIlow preventer is necessary between rainwater and
municipal water supplies leading to the storage tank to prevent cross contamination (see
Plumbing).

Rainwater harvesting can serve as an alternative water source Ior rural homes
where municipal water is not available and well drilling has not proven proIitable.
Rainwater can also supplement well or municipal water supplies to reduce demand on
these supplies to serve nonpotable demands in and around the home.

All systems require a guttering/conveyance method that drains rooItop runoII to a
Iine Iilter. that removes a large percentage oI contaminants beIore the water is stored
onsite in an above or below ground tank. A system without a pressure pump relies on
gravity Ieed; thereIore. the tank must be located at a higher elevation than the garden
and/or building. depending on desired water use. A pressure pump can pump water long
distances Ior outside irrigation and indoor use and does not require the tank to be
elevated. Figure 2 shows a small residential nonpotable system. ideal Ior irrigation
purposes.

See Tanks section to determine whether an above or below ground tank is best
and to determine tank size needed based on area rainIall and rooI area. See Water
Quality to determine the water treatment system that is most appropriate Ior the home`s
potable needs. See Components Ior the technical principles.


Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
7
1ank
Filter
Pump
Floating
Filter
Calming
Inlet

Fig. 2: Small residential nonpotable rainwater harvesting system
Graphic courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions
Commercial
Commercial (or large residential) rainwater harvesting systems can also supply
both potable and nonpotable needs. Needs may be diIIerent Ior a commercial building
than a residential household. Many commercial or large residential buildings preIer to
direct rainwater Ior toilet Ilushing. especially in buildings with high customer traIIic.
The soIt rainwater is also beneIicial Ior cleaning purposes as less detergent is needed.
Water demand. rooI size. and available onsite storage should be considered when sizing a
collection tank.

Figure 3 shows a commercial or large residential above ground rainwater
harvesting system and Fig. 4 shows a commercial or large residential below ground
system. A larger Iilter is needed to Iilter water Irom a larger rooI area. In nearly all
cases. a submersible pump is necessary to pump water Ior indoor use. The addition oI a
calming inlet allows water to enter the tank without disturbing the important sediment
layer on the bottom oI the tank (See Oxygenation). The water passes again through a
Iloating Iilter that protects both the sediment layer and the pump beIore it is pumped Ior
use.












Fig. 3: Commercial or large residential above ground nonpotable rainwater harvesting system
Graphic courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions


1ank
Filter
Pump
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
8








Fig. 4: Commercial or large residential below ground rainwater harvesting system
Graphic courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions

See Tanks section to determine the tank size needed based on rainIall and rooI
area. See Water Quality to determine the water treatment system most appropriate Ior
the home or business` potable needs. See Components Ior the technical principles.
Industrial
Industrial buildings with Ilat rooIs are best suited with a siphonic rooI drainage
system that Iollows the siphon principle to move water. A siphonic rooI drainage system
relies solely on gravity to move water and does not require a pitch to move water.
Underslab piping can be reduced or eliminated when utilizing siphonic rooI drainage
systems. Installation costs can be reduced by 30 to 40° due to the smaller pipe diameter
and elimination or reduction in excavation. backIill. and trenching costs. RooItop runoII
is diverted to an on-site storage tank or pond. Tanks range in size depending on the
connected rooI size.







Fig. 5: Siphonic rooI drain
Photo compliments of Jav R. Smith Mfg. Co.

Harvested rooItop rainwater can be used indoors to Ilush toilets. clean Iloors. and
wash linens or as irrigation. As in the commercial setting. the soIt rainwater is beneIicial
Ior cleaning purposes as less detergent is needed. not only saving money but reducing the
amount oI detergent released into the environment.

Some companies opt to store water in a pond due to aesthetics. as opposed to
large aboveground storage tanks. II rainwater is diverted to a pond. the pond should be
equipped with an aerator in the Iorm oI a Iountain to continually add oxygen. Water not
used can also be directed Ior groundwater recharge.
1ank
Filter
Pump
Floating Filter
Calming Inlet
Water 1reatment
Svstem
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
9











Fig. 6: Collection pond with aeration Iountain
Photo courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions

See Tanks section to determine the tank size needed based on rainIall and rooI
area. Consultation with an engineer is needed to determine needed pond area. See
Components Ior the technical principles.
Agricultural
Rainwater harvesting is ideal Ior Iarm animal drinking water and agricultural and
landscape irrigation. as it is salt Iree. easily attained. and reduces groundwater depletion
and pumping Irom local streams. Rainwater can be collected Irom rooItop surIaces oI
barns. clubhouses. greenhouses and equipment storage buildings.

During summer months. Virginia oIten experiences quick. hard rainIalls. Such
rain events produce too much water in too short a time Ior the ground to absorb. resulting
in most oI the rainwater being lost to runoII. Rainwater harvesting systems are capable
oI collecting the rainwater Irom rooI surIaces during such rainIalls. The heavy storm`s
rainwater can then be reapplied to the Iield at a suitable rate to promote water inIiltration.

Frequently. livestock buildings allow rainwater Irom the rooIs to Ilow into areas
occupied by animals. This situation allows rainwater Irom these Iacilities to become
contaminated by Iecal matter resulting in increased manure slurry that must be managed.
II rainwater Irom these Iacilities is harvested. it can be used Ior watering livestock and
washing down Iacilities and animals. Harvesting rainwater Irom these Iacilities can
reduce the amount oI waste water created as well as decreasing the demand on wells and
other water supplies.

Automatic watering troughs are an eIIicient way to provide clean drinking water
to livestock. Most oI these units operate using pressure valves and can be Ied by an
above ground. gravity Ied rainwater harvesting system. The rooIs oI loaIing sheds or
other agricultural structures can be the source oI this water. By decreasing the diameter
oI the pipe Ieeding the trough. water pressure is increased to a level which can
successIully operate the trough`s valves. This type oI system allows Ior quality water at
remote locations.

Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
10
Fire Suppression
Rainwater harvesting oIIers alternatives to municipally supplied water Ior Iire
suppression. Harvested rainwater can be directed to interior sprinkler systems and used
in the advent oI a building Iire.

Fire suppression can go beyond indoor sprinkler systems to protect buildings Irom
Iorest Iires. Stored water Ilows backward into the gutter system and overIlows the
gutters to Iorm a shield oI water. While Iorest Iires are not as common in Virginia as
they are in the arid west. rainwater could serve as protection Ior some homes located in
heavily Iorested areas in the advent oI a Iire.

Another alternative is to collect rainwater Ior Iire hydrants. RooItop and street
runoII can be directed to an underground tank connected to a Iire hydrant. This prevents
the reliance on potable water to Iight Iires and can reduce connection costs. especially in
areas outside the main water distribution grid.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
11
V Vi ir rg gi in ni ia a R Ra ai in nw wa at te er r H Ha ar rv ve es st ti in ng g A Ap pp pl li ic ca at ti io on n
Environment
When rain Ialls on a building. it lands on a rooItop. drains to the gutters and
drainpipes. and then is diverted either across land or to storm drain pipes. This rooItop
runoII ultimately reaches local waterways. When the rainwater is carried across
landscapes. it picks up detrimental pollutants such as bacteria Irom animal excrement or
decaying animals. chemicals. metals. nitrogen and phosphorus Irom Iertilizers. oil.
pesticides. sediment and trash |7|. All oI these collected surIace pollutants contaminate
waterways and aIIect native aquatic plants and animals.

The Virginia Stormwater Management Act states that the localities covered under
the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act within in the Tidewater area are required to adopt a
local stormwater management program. while any localities located outside this area may
voluntarily adopt a local stormwater management program |8|.

The Chesapeake Bay and its connecting rivers are plagued by nutrient and
sediment pollution. which is a result oI stormwater runoII. EIIort is placed on protecting
the Chesapeake Bay because oI the diverse habitats and organisms that live in and around
the watershed. which stretches through New York. Pennsylvania. Maryland. Delaware.
Virginia. the District oI Columbia. and West Virginia. Since HalI oI Virginia drains into
the Chesapeake Bay watershed and two-thirds oI Virginia`s population lives within the
Chesapeake Bay watershed. the health oI this area impacts many.

Virginia population increases oI nearly eight percent between 2000 and 2006 have
resulted in an increase oI 475.535 new homes |9|. Assuming each home has 1.500 square
Ieet oI rooI area. 713 million square Ieet oI impervious rooI surIaces were installed
during this time. resulting in 19 billion gallons oI rooItop runoII per year. These
impervious rooI surIaces contribute to Virginia`s ongoing problem oI nonpoint source
pollution.

Rainwater harvesting Iollows ecologically sound principles Ior water use as it
reduces the impact on the land (see Low Impact Development). promotes sustainable
practices. reduces stormwater runoII. reduces peak Ilow levels. reduces reliance on
ground and surIace water. allows Ior groundwater recharge. and promotes water
conservation.

Through rainwater harvesting. individuals and businesses can divert rooItop
runoII into an on-site storage tank or pond. thus preventing it Irom running across the
landscape and Iurther contributing to nonpoint source pollution. Modern rainwater
harvesting systems are 95° eIIicient at collecting rooItop runoII. Five percent is lost in
the Iirst Ilush. which rids the system oI large debris (see Filters).

Installing rainwater harvesting systems in areas where nonpoint source pollution
Irom stormwater runoII is a severe threat to stream integrity can signiIicantly reduce
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
12
pollution loads. Since stormwater runoII can also lead to Ilooding. harvesting rainwater
combats Ilooding by reducing peak Ilow Irom high rain events.

Local cities may wish to investigate the economic and environmental impact oI
utilizing rainwater when investigating alternative water sources. For example. a student
at Portland State University researched the Ieasibility oI installing rainwater harvesting
systems in an urban Portland neighbourhood. He determined that upon the installation oI
4.500 gallon tanks. runoII could be reduced by 68°. while reducing demands on
municipal water supplies Ior nonpotable water demands |10|. Also. an economic study in
Sydney. Melbourne and southeast Queensland investigated the Ieasibility oI utilizing
rainwater harvesting over desalination to supply increasing water demands. The report
stated that iI Iive percent oI households utilized rainwater harvesting. they would collect
and supply as much additional water as planned by the desalination plant |11|.
Desalination is a very expensive process. especially to provide potable water Ior
nonpotable needs. and results in toxic concentrated salt by-products. Rainwater
harvesting may prove proIitable Ior localities wishing to conserve dollars. water and the
environment. The economic beneIits oI rainwater extend beyond water supply costs. as
discussed in the next section.

Economic
The economic Ieasibility oI harvesting rainwater is based on many Iactors. i.e.
precipitation Irequency. water consumption needs. prices oI local water and wastewater
treatment. and the cost oI installation and maintenance. More importantly is the long-
term economic Ieasibility. which is based on the building`s operational liIespan and
system design. The combination oI a high building liIespan oI at least 40 years. high-
quality and sustainable preIabricated components. and minimum system servicing needs
equates to rainwater harvesting being economically Ieasible and ecologically sensitive.

Utilizing inIerior quality. less expensive. preIabricated components translates to
higher service costs as these components must be replaced during the liIe oI the building.
Installing high-quality preIabricated components that last the liIe oI the building is a
sustainable building practice that is both economically and environmentally responsible.

Taxes
Some states like Texas oIIer tax incentives Ior individuals and businesses
interested in installing rainwater harvesting systems. In 2001. Virginia passed Senate Bill
1416. which gave income tax credit to individuals and corporations that installed
rainwater harvesting systems. UnIortunately. this bill was never Iunded and Iell to the
wayside. However. work is underway to lobby Ior Iuture tax incentives as rainwater
harvesting is an environmentally responsible and economically Ieasible approach to
conserving water and reducing nonpoint source pollution.
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Cost of water
The cost oI municipally supplied water nationwide has increased by 9.8° Irom
1998 to 2001 |12|. 4° between 2001 and 2002 |13|. and 27° in the last Iive years |14|.
Prices will continue to rise because oI increasing costs to treat water to adapt to EPA`s
SaIe Drinking Water Act guidelines. upgrade declining inIrastructures. and instill
conservation programs. Most US inIrastructure was installed soon aIter World War II and
is now past the 50 year expected liIespan. ThereIore. water costs are sure to rise to help
oIIset the replacement/rehabilitation cost. Reducing potable water demand through
rainwater harvesting could eliminate the need Ior inIrastructure expansion.

Installing a rainwater harvesting system can help residents reduce their water
supply costs. With rainwater harvesting systems. most oI the cost is upIront cost. and
systems ultimately pay Ior themselves within a Iew years. depending on the system and
local water prices. This time could be reduced. depending on how quickly municipal
water costs increase. Appropriately designed rainwater harvesting systems will have
minimal maintenance costs associated with upkeep (see Maintenance and Cleaning)
and will show the best long-term relationship between cost and Iinancial beneIit.

In some urban areas. rooItop runoII is directed to storm drains and then to water
treatment Iacilities. These large pipes are expensive to install and travel many miles
through urban areas. When a heavy rainIall occurs. the water treatment Iacilities are
overwhelmed with stormwater. causing systems to overIlow and even contaminate local
waterways with untreated sewage. ClassiIying rainwater as sewage is unnecessary.
wastes resources. and causes pollution.

Through a downspout disconnect program. many cities have reduced the number
oI downspouts connected to sewer systems. In doing so. rooItop runoII is instead land
applied. While the disconnect program addresses wastewater treatment overloading. it
does not necessarily address nonpoint source pollution Irom stormwater runoII. In Iact.
inappropriately directed downspouts (i.e. to impervious surIaces) can increase nonpoint
source pollution.

Municipally supplied water is treated to drinking water standards. Potable water
is not needed to Ilush toilets. wash clothes. wash vehicles. Iill pools. Iight Iires. or irrigate
lawns. ThereIore. additional money and resources are being wasted when potable water
is consumed Ior non-potable demands.

Rainwater harvesting`s economic Ieasibility can also be calculated by its
synergistic values. Rainwater is soIt. which means less detergent is used and released
into the environment. Also. rainwater harvesting systems with a connected vaporization
system can raise site humidity and create a healthier microclimate. This is ideal Ior city
areas dealing with air pollution. Likewise. utilizing rainwater as opposed to municipal
and well water. beneIits local streams. lakes. ponds and groundwater sources since less
water will be pulled Irom these sources. Such beneIits may not have a direct price tag.
but their value is long lasting and considerable.
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Installing and utilizing rainwater harvesting systems can have a trickle-down
eIIect and cause other companies/individuals/organizations to be more environmentally
conscious Ior environmental. economic and political reasons. Rainwater harvesting
systems typically increase residential property value and oIIer current and Iuture
residents the opportunity to live an environmentally responsible liIestyle.

LEED Certification
With continuing population increases. demand Ior housing and retail shops will
also continue. Thus. development is not likely to stop anytime soon. However. green
building design reduces the environmental impact oI development. By Iollowing green
building practices. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certiIication
can be attained.

In the late 1990`s the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed
a LEED certiIication process. which certiIies buildings based on environmentally
conscious design. Rainwater harvesting is one component that can lead to certiIication.
as it is identiIied as a sustainable water source that lessens environmental impact through
reduced stormwater runoII and reliance on municipally supplied water.

To attain basic LEED certiIication. 26 to 32 points are needed. The Iollowing
rainwater harvesting applications will give points towards certiIication |15|:
 1 point: Reduce stormwater runoII.
 1 point: Use captured rain to reduce potable water consumption.
 1 point: Reduce generation oI wastewater and potable water demand.
 1 point: Conserve existing natural areas.

According to the USGBC website. twenty buildings in Virginia have some level
oI LEED rating |16|. A maiority oI these buildings are located in Northern Virginia
where energy and water supplies are especially strained due to sheer population numbers.
However. water conservation and stewardship is important throughout the state.
Low Impact Development
Low impact development (LID) aims to mimic a site`s pre-development
hydrology through the use oI innovative techniques and design. Typical development
designs include a variety oI impervious surIaces such as rooIing and paving. Through
LID. designs aim to curtail stormwater runoII Irom these impervious surIaces or utilize
alternative products that inIiltrate. Iilter. store. or detain runoII water

Residents and business owners who wish to retroIit current buildings or build LID
dwellings can look to rainwater harvesting as an approach to combat the serious issue oI
stormwater runoII. In Iact. many Virginia localities are urging LID development.
Including rainwater harvesting in retroIits or new designs not only reduces stormwater
runoII. but also supplies the building with an alternative water source while reducing
reliance on groundwater or municipal water.
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15
T Te ec ch hn ni ic ca al l S St ta an nd da ar rd ds s a an nd d R Ru ul le es s
During the developmental phase oI the modern rainwater harvesting system. some
countries investigated water quality and technology improvements. Germany was the
leader in these studies between 1987 and 1997. These studies and practical experiences
assisted in draIting rainwater harvesting technical standards. which Iocused on improved
preIabricated components. The studies also gathered data reIerring to potable and
nonpotable rainwater quality. economic eIIiciency. and system design.

Creating national and international rainwater harvesting standards can assist in
developing low maintenance. saIe. and sustainable systems with minimum ecological
disturbance. International businesses have made strides in recent years by producing
high quality. sustainable rainwater harvesting components. which have inIluenced the
market`s expansion. However. the promise oI economic gains caused inIerior companies
to produce non-sustainable. mediocre products.

Today`s rainwater harvesting system designs should Iollow DIN 1989 Part 1:
Planning. Installation. Operation and Maintenance |17|. to ensure saIe. high quality
products. DIN 1989 is a German compilation oI standards comprised oI skeptics and
advocates Irom the private and public sectors |18|. German water providers. water quality
specialists. local authority districts. proIessional organizations. and ministries oI
environment and health all Iollow these standards.

Adopting DIN 1989 would be another step to establishing international rainwater
harvesting standards. All practical experiences conIirm that the German standards are
suIIicient to reach a technically sustainable and saIe rainwater harvesting design.
ThereIore. in countries where such standards and regulations do not exist. i.e. the United
States. the German standards can be adopted.

Rainwater harvesting design and installation requires a network oI proIessionals.
Component preIabrication companies. architects. engineers. craItsmen. water providers
and local authority districts are all involved in designing. installing and regulating
rainwater harvesting systems. Like every new technology. involving only the most
qualiIied personnel ensures a successIul and sustainable product.

Rainwater harvesting systems should be designed to ensure water maintains its
purity while in storage. This is accomplished through the implementation oI precision
products that divert. collect. and store water.

Systems should IulIill the Iollowing DIN 1989 guidelines.
 FortiIy rooItop runoII with oxygen.
 Eliminate Iine and coarse particles prior to storage.
 Ensure stored water is high in oxygen.
 Protect stored water Irom contamination.
 Provide high-quality. sustainable components.
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 Require minimum maintenance.

Components
By Iollowing the German standards Ior rainwater harvesting design. the
aIorementioned criteria can be achieved. This section details the various components
necessary Ior rainwater harvesting and sets guidelines Ior installation and maintenance.
The Iollowing guidelines are not rules in Virginia. but are based on DIN 1989 standards
and various United States state standards. The compilation serves as a guideline Ior
creating the best management practices in Virginia.

Plumbing
When utilizing both rainwater and potable municipal water supplies. there may be
times when rainwater supplies are exhausted. thereIore municipal potable water should
also be a backup Ior non-potable needs. To ensure cross contamination does not occur.
separate plumbing systems must be installed Ior both potable and non-potable rainwater.
ThereIore. two completely separate plumbing systems must exist to supply potable and
non-potable water. Signs must be displayed at all Iaucets and spigots supplying non-
potable water that state 'not drinking water.¨ Also. rainwater spigots must be protected.
especially in public buildings. against unauthorized usage. Removing knobs Irom outside
spigots is one approach to prevent unauthorized use. Potable and nonpotable plumbing
can be distinguished through diIIerent color pipes. All nonpotable water plumbing
should be labeled as such.

In the event oI a rainwater shortage. tanks can be partially Iilled with potable
municipal supplies. Rainwater harvesting systems should be designed to incorporate
either a backIlow blocker or an air gap to ensure contamination does not occur between
the rainwater and municipal water. The air gap should allow 2 cm. oI airspace or space
equivalent to 3 times the municipal water supply pipe diameter. The municipal water
inlet must be installed above the highest possible rainwater level and overIlow outlet to
ensure cross contamination does not occur.

Tanks
Tanks are the most expensive
component in the rainwater harvesting
system. However. tanks are the most
important part oI the system as water
supply is dependent on a Iully
Iunctioning tank. The many tank
materials vary based on local
availability and climate.
Fig. 8: Below ground tank
Image courtesv Rainwater Management Solutions
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www.cabellbrandcenter.org
17
Tanks can be installed either above or below ground. Tank location is dependent
on aesthetics. climate and soil conditions. Some preIer not to see the storage tank and opt
to bury it. However. placing tanks underground adds to installation costs and may be
limited in areas where soil is especially rocky. When tanks are installed below ground.
water is maintained at a cool temperature and light is blocked. thereby reducing chances
oI bacterial growth. Some tanks are not suitable Ior certain climatic areas. Wood tanks
are not recommended Ior hot. dry locations. Since Virginia is a Iairly humid state. wood
tanks can be used throughout. However. installing tanks below ground may not be
advisable in the mountainous regions and areas with a high groundwater level. The table
below (Table 1) describes available tank materials and their corresponding advantages
and disadvantages.

Table 1: Tank Comparison
Tank Material Advantages Disadvantages
Plastic
Fiberglass
commercially available
alterable and moveable
little maintenance
light weight
must be sited on smooth.
solid. level Iooting
pressure prooI Ior below
ground installation
Polvethvlene
commercially available
alterable. moveable. aIIordable.
available in variety oI sizes
install above or below
ground
little maintenance
UV-degradable
must be painted or tinted
pressure prooI Ior below
ground installation

Trash cans (20-50 gallon)
commercially available
inexpensive
must use only new cans
small storage capabilities
Metal
Galvanized steel tanks
commercially available
alterable and moveable
available in variety oI sizes
Iilm develops inside to
prevent corrosion
possibly corrosion and rust
must be lined Ior potable use
only above ground use
Steel drums (55-gallon)
commercially available
alterable and moveable
veriIy prior to use Ior toxics
prone to corrosion an rust
small storage capabilities
Concrete
Ferroconcrete
durable and immoveable
install above or below
ground
potential to crack and leak
neutralizes acid rain

Monolithic/Poured-in-
place
durable. immoveable. versatile
install above or below ground
decreases rainwater
corrosiveness
potential to crack and leak
permanent
neutralizes acid rain
in clay soil. do not place
underground
Stone. concrete block
durable and immoveable
keeps water cool in hot
climates
diIIicult to maintain
expensive to build



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Wood
Pine. redwood. cedar.
cvpress
attractive. durable
contains natural preservative
can be disassembled to move
available in variety oI sizes
expensive
site built by skilled
technician
not Ior use in hot. dry
locations
only above ground use
[19-21]

Tanks should be located within close proximity to the building and overIlow
should be directed to another tank. inIiltration device. pond. or a pervious surIace.
OverIlow piping must be the same or a larger diameter to that oI the inlet piping. and
water should be directed away Irom the building to protect it Irom any water damage. II
no alternatives exist. overIlow can be connected to the public sewer system. This is
typically done only in city settings where no pervious surIaces exist. II the tank will be
gravity Ied to irrigate gardens. it should be positioned high enough to allow Ior gravity
Ieed. Otherwise. a pressure pump may be necessary to move water Irom the tank to the
desired location (see Pumps).

Tanks should be placed on level ground. II situated on the ground. the Ioundation
should be compacted soil covered with sand. Creating a sturdy Ioundation ensures the
tank will not tilt and ultimately collapse. In the event oI overIlow. water should be
diverted away Irom the tank and Ioundation to maintain the Ioundation`s integrity |21|.

Convevance svstems
The conveyance system includes gutters. downspouts and return pipes and is
responsible Ior transporting rainwater Irom the rooI to the Iilter beIore it reaches the
storage tank.

Gutters move rainwater Irom the rooI surIace to the downspouts. ThereIore. they
serve as an integral part in transporting water eIIiciently and eIIectively. Specially
designed guttering systems are not necessary Ior harvesting rainwater. Existing guttering
systems can be retroIitted to divert water to storage tanks.

Guttering systems should be pitched to ensure all water runs out and the gutter is
allowed to dry between rainIall events to prevent mosquito breeding and bacterial
growth. The pitch should be 0.5° Ior 2/3 oI its length and 1° Ior the remaining 1/3
length and ideally a semi-circular or trapezoidal shape |22|.

Gutter systems should remain Iree Irom debris at all times to ensure water moves Ireely
Irom rooI surIaces to the storage tank. Installing covered gutters or adding guards to
existing gutters is ideal to prevent debris buildup and clogging.



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Filters
The goal oI a Iilter is to not only to eliminate contaminants. but also to supply
oxygen to water during the Iiltration process. An advanced Iilter does not restrict the
diameter oI the gutter and is positioned either vertically connected to the gutter system or
horizontally connected to the downspouts (see Fig. 9).

Modern Iilters require extremely low maintenance and cleaning and can
eIIiciently collect more than 90° oI Iiltrated rainwater. To ensure the eIIectiveness oI
the Iilter. the appropriate Iilter should be paired with the appropriate rooI area. Also.
utilizing high quality Iilters ensures water is suIIiciently Iiltered. oxygenated and directed
to storage tanks.

We recommend Iirst Ilush Iine Iilters when Iiltering water
Irom gutters prior to storage. These Iilters require 5° oI the
water to Ilow through. allowing large contaminants Irom the rooI
surIace to be Ilushed through. AIter the 5° Iirst Ilush. the Iine
Iilter is wet and begins Iiltering Iine contaminants as water is
diverted to a storage tank. Filter meshes less than 0.5 mm work
best.

Even with high rainIall events. Iilters should remain
eIIicient in Iiltering water and diverting as much water as
possible into the storage tank. ThereIore. Iilters should be selI-
cleaning and selI-drying between rainIall events. Filter Iabric
should dry between rainIall events to prevent algae and bioIilm
growth. which could block Iabric pores. Also. Iabrics should be
made oI stable materials that will not change shape and can
withstand temperature changes. ice Iormation. and Irost.

Stainless steel is considered the best Iilter Iabric because
it can withstand all weather conditions. even ice Iormation and
Irost. is selI cleaning and selI drying. maintains shape. and does
not rust. thus reducing contamination likelihood. The vortex
Iilters in Fig. 10 include a removable stainless steel Iilter insert
and the downspout Iilter in Fig. 10 is constructed solely oI
stainless steel.








Fig. 10: Vortex and downspout Iilters
Images courtesv of Wisv AG.
Fig. 9: Downspout
Iilter
Image courtesv of
Hans Otto-Wack
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Best quality Iilters need inspection only two to Iour times a year and last the
liIespan oI the building. Purchasing sustainable products Ior rainwater harvesting Iurther
emphasizes the environmental impact by conserving water. energy. and production
resources. Research should be conducted to ensure Iirst rate products are integrated into
a building`s rainwater harvesting design.

Calming inlets. located at the bottom oI storage tanks. smooth the entering water
to prevent it Irom disturbing Iine particulate matter on the bottom oI the tank (see Fig.
11). Water is directed upwards. reducing inIlow speed and preventing water Irom
whirling in the tank. The calming inlet also distributes Iresh. Iiltered water while
oxygenating the water to Iurther ensure pure stored water. In round tanks. one calming
inlet can evenly distribute the Iresh rainwater. In larger square tanks. several calming
inlets may be necessary to provide evenly distributed Iresh rainwater.














Fig. 11: Calming Inlet
Image courtesv of Wisv AG

Soil sediment consists oI Iine particulate matter that settled to the tank bottom.
This Iilm is biologically active and converts organic materials to CO
2
and mineral
substances. This natural process. similar to the aerobic cleaning processes in brooks.
assists in cleaning the water and reduces the soil sediment layer. II the tank were cleaned
the biologically stable bioIilm would be destroyed.

However. this balance only occurs when water is Iine Iiltered prior to entering the
tank. ThereIore. only Iine sediment collects in the tank. II larger organic matter is
present in the tank. oxygen is depleted and harmIul anaerobic conditions occur.
ThereIore. it is important to ensure water passes through a Iilter ·0.5 mm prior to storage.

To aspirate the water Irom the tank. a Iloating Iilter is located at the end oI the
pump`s suction hose (Fig. 12). It protects the soil sediment Irom destruction and protects
the pump against particles. Floating Iilters are best when they are 0.2 mm particle size.
Otherwise. a coarse meshed Iloating Iilter can be used. Filter Iabric should be oI
excellent quality stainless steel. like the Iirst Ilush Iilter.
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21











Fig. 12: Floating Iine Iilter with pressure pump
Image courtesv of Wisv AG
Cleaning and Maintenance
Appropriately designed rainwater harvesting systems require very little
maintenance. However. like any household component. it should be checked periodically
to ensure it is operating eIIiciently and appropriately.

Gutters: Gutters should be periodically Ilushed to clear them oI organic
matter and help eliminate any clogs. While some gutter guards are advertised as never
clogging. they too should be monitored and checked periodically to ensure water is
entering and Ilowing through the gutter.

Downspouts: Downspouts should be checked occasionally. especially where
they connect to the gutter. Any debris should be removed to ensure the water Ilows
through Ireely.

Filters: Modern Iilters do not require replacing and require little maintenance.
unlike the old rooIwasher design. Figure 13 shows the diIIerence between the old design
and the modern Iilter design. The rooIwasher on the leIt requires periodic cleaning and
Iilters need replacing yearly. while the Iilter on the right never needs replacing.
However. the selI-cleaning Iilter does require monitoring as buildup may occur.
depending on the local environmental conditions. II the stainless steel Iilter insert needs
cleaning. it can be washed in the dishwasher.









Fig. 13: Old and modern Iilter designs
Images courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions and Wisv AG

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Tanks: II a Iirst Ilush Iilter is not used. tanks will require yearly cleaning to
remove organic debris buildup. II a Iirst Ilush Iilter is used. tanks will not require
cleaning as the bioIilm on the bottom oI the tank improves water quality by adding
oxygen (see Oxygenation). In areas where acid rain is a problem. water pH should be
tested periodically. A neutralizing agent can be added to the tank to combat pH
problems. Pieces oI limestone rock can be placed in the tank to assist in neutralizing the
water. Other common neutralizing agents and their dose are as Iollows:
 Limestone: 2 oz.
 Quicklime: 1 oz.
 Hydrated lime: 1 oz.
 Soda ash: 1 oz.
 Caustic soda: 1.5 oz.
Design & Installation
All rainwater harvesting system designs should be conducted by a licensed
proIessional engineer experienced in rainwater harvesting design. Licensed plumbers are
required by law to install any plumbing systems. Only licensed contractors should install
any rainwater harvesting system. but special rainwater harvesting installers are not
required.

The Iollowing list includes basic guidelines that should be Iollowed when
designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems:

 Only rooItop rainwater should be collected.
 The rooI materials should be selected careIully.
 Potable storage systems (cistern) should be located at least 50 Ieet Irom
possible contamination. i.e. septic tanks. termite treated buildings.
 Storage tank must be located on a lower grade than the Iilter.
 Storage tank must exclude light.
 Systems must be equipped with overIlow pipes that direct water to another
tank. stormwater pipes. pervious surIace. or pond.
 Calming inlets are necessary to disperse water upwards and protect the
oxygenating bioIilm on the bottom oI the tank.
 Systems must be equipped with Iine Iilters.
 Floating Iilters should be incorporated at the pump aspiration hose.
 Storage tanks should be accessible Ior maintenance and cleaning.
 Storage tank openings must be covered and screened.
 All system parts should be high quality to last the liIetime oI the building.
 Systems designed Ior potable use must be equipped with appropriate water
treatment components |23|.

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W Wa at te er r Q Qu ua al li it ty y

Because oI the lack oI readily available inIormation concerning rainwater quality.
the general public is oIten leery oI consuming and utilizing rainwater Ior potable and/or
nonpotable use. The intention oI this manual is to educate the Virginia and the United
States population oI the beneIits and saIety oI utilizing rainwater.

Rainwater qualities:
 naturally soIt
 slightly acidic (6.3 6.8)
 contains no sodium
 contains very Iew contaminants and bacteria
 completely saIe Ior nonpotable use in and around a building

Rainwater is considered uncontaminated until it Ialls on a rooI and absorbs
contaminates Irom both the rooI and air. thus Iiltering is necessary beIore diverting
rainwater to a storage tank or cistern.

Water quality standards
There are currently no United States water quality standards speciIically Ior
rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesters should be aware oI water borne pathogens
and possible water contaminants in untreated rainwater.

Contaminates oI concern include:
 algae
 chemical compounds (aerosols. disinIectants. etc.)
 microorganisms Irom organic solids (bird excrement. etc.)
 organic and inorganic solids (leaves. wood. moss. sand. dust. etc.)
 radionuclides |24|.

Although contaminants may exist in untreated rainwater. many are diverted through
the Iine Iilter prior to entering the storage tank (see Filters) and are present in minimal
amounts that do not aIIect water quality Ior nonpotable use. During dry spells. debris may
accumulate on the rooI surIace. The debris is washed oII the surIace upon rainIall and
diverted through the Iirst Ilush Iiltering process.

All rooIing material should be monitored Ior organic build up such as branches.
leaves. dead animals. and animal excrement. It is recommended that overhanging
branches should be trimmed back to reduce the organic matter build up and thwart animal
access.

Standards exist Ior drinking water quality and they should be Iollowed iI
rainwater is to be used Ior drinking water. The EPA website |24|
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Overflow
Biofilm
Fine particulate matter
1ank
http://www.epa.gov/saIewater/contaminants/index.html can be reIerenced Ior Iurther
inIormation regarding drinking water regulations and contaminants.

Oxygenation
Oxygen in the stored water ensures collected rainwater remains high in quality.
Oxygen depletion can lead to anaerobic conditions. In anaerobic conditions. surIace
bioIilms Iorm reducing water quality and creating an oIIensive odor. Appropriately
designed rainwater harvesting systems incorporate products that oxygenate the water to
maintain water quality.

Some Iilters are designed to oxygenate the water and provide continuous air Ilow
to the storage tank (see Filters). Air vents in the tank also allow air movement into and
out oI the tank. thus saturating the water with oxygen. Some tanks are aerated through
windmill aerators. When these windmills are placed alongside rainwater tanks and either
wind or electricity can move the windmill. causing air bubbles to enter the tank. much
like a Iish tank. The bubbles provide aeration and prevent anaerobic conditions.

Organic materials such as leaves. moss. and bird excrement that reach water
sources consume oxygen during decomposition. thus starving the water oI healthy
oxygen. Because organic material is also more likely to carry bacteria. Iine Iilters are
necessary to eliminate such contaminants. but home/business owners should also keep
rooIs clear oI large debris.

Floating organic materials in the tank can Iorm a surIace oil Iilm that can prevent
oxygen diIIusion. An angled overIlow pipe can suction the Iilm Irom the water surIace
(Fig. 14). Only Iour to six overIlow events per year can remove this thin Iilm. Tank size
can be calculated to ensure overIlow does occasionally occur. based on annual rainIall
amount and rooI area (see Sizing a system).












Fig. 14: BioIilm and angled overIlow pipe

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Treating potable water
Treatment. per Iederal guidelines. is needed to bring drinking water to the Iederal
standards that Virginia Iollows (http://www.epa.gov/saIewater/standards.html) |25|.
Rainwater can be treated onsite to supply water Ior potable needs. Treatment is available
in several Iorms. The table below describes the various methods available and their
advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on a water treatment system. discuss the
options with your rainwater harvesting design engineer.

Table 2: PuriIication Options
Treatment Advantages Disadvantages
Chrlorine inexpensive odor. taste. carcinogen.
does not kill all pathogens
Ozonation no odor or taste.
no chemicals needed
expensive. produces toxic
by-products
requires electricity
Reverse osmosis removes most contaminants likely to clog. wastes water.
expensive
Ultraviolet (UV) light kills most microbes.
no chemicals needed
expensive
requires electricity
[21. 26]








Fig. 15: Residential UV light potable water treatment
Photo courtesv of Rainwater Management Solutions
Factors affecting water qualitv
In most areas. rain is pure water when Ialling Irom the sky. Contaminants are not
present until rain Ialls on the rooI surIace. Contaminants on rooI surIaces depend on
rooIing material. location to industrial plants. location to overhead trees and presence oI
animal excrements or remains. Metal rooIs are ideal Ior rainwater harvesting Ior the
Iollowing reasons:
 Impervious: rainwater runs oII quickly.
 Smooth: rainwater cleans the surIace quickly.
 Conducts heat: prevents bacteria Irom growing |27|.
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The table below highlights the types oI rooIing material and the contaminants associated
with each surIace.

Table 3: RooIing material and associated contaminants









[26. 28-30]

Aluminum is the best selection Ior rooItop rainwater harvesting. Although
aluminum rooIing may release aluminum into the water. it is only a trace amount that will
not signiIicantly aIIect the water quality |29|. Semi-porous rooI surIaces like terra cotta
and wood absorb some oI the water. thus eliminating the system`s water collection
eIIiciency |30|.

Some international companies have designed rooIing material speciIically Ior
potable rainwater harvesting. The rooIing material is typically pre-painted zinc and
aluminum coasted steel. Some common brand rooIs are Colorbond® and Zincalume®.
Although these rooIing materials are more common in Australia. the global market
allows Ior availability even in the United States.

RooIs with a pitch work best Ior rainwater harvesting. as water is easily moved
through gravitational Iorce. Since organic matter can build up between rain events. a
steeper rooI also allows water to move more eIIiciently across the surIace. thereby
quickly cleaning the rooI surIace |31|.

Vegetated rooI surIaces with a soil base absorb most oI the water that Ialls on the
rooI. and only 10° to 20° oI runoII is collected. The collected runoII is typically a
brown color. thus suitable only Ior landscape irrigation. However. up to 30° oI rainIall
runoII Irom vegetated rooIs with a gravel base is collected. This water is clear and
suitable Ior both indoor and outdoor use.


Roofing Material Contaminants
Asphalt Shingles mold. algae. bacteria. dust. soot. moss.
petroleum compounds. gravel grit
Aluminum aluminum
Galvanized metal lead. cadmium. zinc
Sheet metal lead
Tar shingles copper
Terra cotta mold. algae. bacteria. moss
Wood mold. algae. bacteria. moss.
wood preservatives
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S Si iz zi in ng g a a S Sy ys st te em m

When sizing a system. several Iactors must be considered:
 RainIall amount
 RooI area
 Available room on lot
 Water consumption (household size and needs)
 Intended use (potable. nonpotable. irrigation) |32|.

The average person uses 50 gallons oI water per day Ior potable and non-potable
uses. We recommend that iI potable water is available. rainwater should be used solely
Ior nonpotable water uses. which can add up to 80° oI the water used in and around a
home/business.

Calculations
This section will detail how much water can actually be collected Irom a rooI
surIace and how to determine what size tank is needed. based on rainIall and rooI area.
Home/business owners can do these calculations on their own. but should consult a
rainwater harvesting design engineer to determine tank size.

One inch oI rainIall collects 0.62 gallons per sq.It oI rooI area; thereIore. 620
gallons is collected when a one inch rainIall Ialls on a 1.000 sq.It. rooI area. The
equation below calculates the yearly collectable amount oI rainwater; depending on
average rainIall. rooI area and system eIIiciency.

average rainfall x roof area (sq.ft.) x 0.62 (conversion) x collection efficiency

Example.
Assuming the average JA rainfall. 45 inches
Home. 2.500 sq.ft.
First flush filter. 95º efficient

45 inches rain x 2.500 sq.It. x 0.62 x 0.95 ÷ 66.262.5 gallons/yr.

Now compare this number the household water usage.

Assume.
50 gallons/dav
4 people in household

50 gallons/day x 4 people x 365 days ÷ 73.000 gallons/yr.

ThereIore. the collected rainwater could supply 90° oI the household`s annual water
demand. This would cover likely cover all nonpotable water demands.
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Virginia Rainfall Distribution
Virginia annual rainIall amounts can be as little as 35 inches in the Northwest and
as high as 60 inches in the Southwest mountains (Fig. 16). Average rainIall throughout
the state is 45 inches with the least rainIall Ialling in December through February (around
3 inches) and the most in July and August (around 4.2 inches) |33|. Unlike the western
United States. Virginia`s rainIall is dispersed more evenly throughout the year.
Additional calculations are seldom needed.



























Fig. 16: Average Virginia annual precipitation
Photo courtesv of Oregon Climate Service


The tables below detail amounts oI rainwater that can be harvested yearly on
residential/commercial and industrial buildings. depending on rainIall amount and rooI
size. assuming 95° collection eIIiciency (5° lost in the Iirst Ilush).

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Table 4: Residential/Commercial rainIall catchment (gallons)
Rainfall (inches)
Roof size
(sq. ft.)
35 40 45 50 55 60
1.000 21.615 23.560 26.505 39.450 32.395 35.340
2.000 41.230 47.120 53.010 58.900 64.790 70.680
3.000 61.845 70.680 79.515 88.350 97.185 106.020
4.000 82.460 94.240 106.020 117.800 129.580 141.360
5.000 103.075 117.800 132.525 147.250 161.975 176.700
6.000 123.690 141.260 159.030 176.700 194.370 220.590
7.000 144.305 164.920 185.535 235.600 226.765 247.380
8.000 164.920 188.480 212.040 235.600 259.160 282.720
9.000 185.535 212.040 238.545 265.050 291.555 318.060
10.000 206.150 235.600 265.050 294.500 323.950 353.400


Table 5: Industrial rainIall catchment (gallons)
Rainfall (inches)
Roof size
(sq. ft.)
35 40 45 50 55 60
100.000 2.061.500 2.356.000 2.650.500 2.945.000 3.239.500 3.534.000
200.000 4.123.000 4.712.000 5.301.000 5.890.000 6.479.000 7.068.000
300.000 6.184.500 7.068.000 87.951.50
0
8.835.000 9.718.500 10.602.00
0


The table below categorizes the recommended tank size based on annual rainIall
distribution and rooI area. This table is only a recommendation and should not be the
sole source to guide system design. Contact a rainwater harvesting design company to
ensure your system is sized and designed appropriately and includes all necessary
components. based on your needs.

Table 6: Recommended tank size (gallons)
Roof area sq. ft.
1.000 2.000 3.000 4.000 5.000
35 1.500 3.000 5.000 10.000 10.000
40 2.500 5.000 5.000 10.000 10.000
45 2.500 5.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
50 2.500 5.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
R
a
i
n
f
a
l
l

p
e
r

y
r

i
n
.

55 3.000 5.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
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Indoor Water Conservation
Today`s appliances and irrigation components can save at least 30° oI the daily
water consumed. Only Ultralow Ilush toilets are now sold in the United States. These
toilets can use as little as 1 gallon per Ilush or up to 1.6 gallons per Ilush. Utilizing water
saving appliances will aIIect tank sizing as less water would be required Ior indoor use.
Table 7 details water consumption diIIerences Ior water saving appliances.

Table 7: Water Saving Appliance Comparison
Appliance Standard Water saving style º Water Savings
Dishwasher 16 gallons/load 7.5 gallons/load 53°
Faucet 5 gallons/ minute 2.5 gallons/minute 50°
Toilet 5 7 gallons/Ilush 1 1.6 gallons/Ilush 68° 85°
Shower head 12 gallons/minute 2.5 gallons/minute 80°
Washing machine 27 54 gallons 16 20 gallons 25° 70°
[34]

Utilizing water saving devices not only saves money. but also Iurther supports
water conservation endeavors and saves water Ior Iuture generations. The Iollowing
irrigation section will address outdoor conservation tools and approaches.
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I Ir rr ri ig ga at ti io on n

As much as 60° oI urban and suburban water consumption is used as landscape
irrigation |35|. FiIty percent oI that water can be lost to evaporation and runoII |36|.
ThereIore. when coupling rainwater harvesting systems with irrigation. home/business
owners should take extra steps to ensure the harvested rainwater is applied as eIIiciently
as possible across the landscape. Applying more water than needed can cause runoII and
nonpoint source pollution. thus canceling out the conservation and reduction in nonpoint
source pollution beneIits oI rainwater harvesting.

Scheduling
Ideally. irrigation should be scheduled on evapotranspiration (soil evaporation and
plant transpiration) data. which is based on recent climatic conditions. Other US states
have websites that show real-time data concerning evapotranspiration data that help guide
irrigation timing. This allows irrigators to apply only the amount oI water lost Irom soil
evaporation and plant transpiration back to the land.

Some US states like Texas and Colorado provide real-time evapotranspiration
data on a website. Irrigators only need to access the website. select the crop. and last
time irrigated. The website then computes how many inches oI water need to be supplied
to replace the amount oI water lost. Virginia does not currently have an interactive
website like this. but Virginia Tech is working to utilize current weatherstation data to
supply evapotranspiration numbers online.

Historical evapotranspiration data Ior select Virginia cities is available at the
website: http://climate.virginia.edu/vapetprecdiII.htm. This website details potential
evapotranspiration. which is calculated through historical climate data. This website can
be used when determining how much water is needed Ior irrigation purposes.

Equation to determine water needed Ior irrigation in inches:
(Monthly ET rate - Average monthly rainfall) x acres x 27.154 gallons/acre


Example. Charlottesville. Jirginia.
5.55 inches/month average summer ET
4.31 inches/month average summer rainfall
2.000 sq.ft. turfgrass area


(5.55 4.31 inches/acre) x 0.05 acres x 27.154 gallons/acre ÷ 1.684 gallons/month

This equation is only an estimation oI plant water needs. A rainwater harvesting
or irrigation consultant company can determine more accurately the irrigation needs.
based on plant type and water needs.
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Water Conservation Tips
All landscape irrigators should Iollow irrigation best management practices.
whether Ior residential application or large-scale park application. The Virginia
Rainwater Harvesting Manual stresses the importance oI Iollowing these best
management practices to ensure that the rainwater harvested is utilized eIIiciently and
eIIectively when irrigating.

The Irrigation Association has a detailed Best Management Practice publication
available online at www.irrigation.org/gov/pdI/IABMPAPRIL2005.pdI |37|. The
Iollowing will summarize these Iindings in coordination with utilizing harvesting
rainwater Ior irrigation purposes.

Installation & Maintenance
 Hire a certiIied irrigation designer and contractor to design and install your irrigation
system. Double your eIIorts by hiring a WaterSense partner
(http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/irrproI.htm).
 Design system (type and output) to meet landscape (plant & soil) needs.
 Group plants with similar irrigation needs in the same irrigation zones.
 Large scale irrigation proiects should be audited by a certiIied irrigation auditor to
ensure system is applying water uniIormly and eIIiciently.
 Ensure system is routinely maintained Ior uniIorm and eIIicient water application.

Application
 Use drip/micro-irrigation or subsurIace irrigation when applicable to reduce water
loss through evaporation.
 Base irrigation timing on evapotranspiration rate and climatic conditions. plant needs.
slope. soil inIiltration. soil moisture. and rainIall.
 Select system components that reduce runoII and maintain sprinkler irrigation below
inIiltration rate to ensure excess water is not applied. Use soak cycles to ensure
appropriate water is applied. while eliminating unnecessary runoII.
 Install water conserving irrigation heads.
 Utilize alternative nonpotable water source when available.
 Allow soil moisture to deplete /allow plants to wilt slightly beIore watering.
 Irrigate in the early morning when evaporation is low.


Native Plants
Including native plants in landscape design reduces irrigation demands. Native
plants are adapted to the local climate and rainIall events. and the need Ior supplemental
irrigation is minimal. Non-native and invasive plantings not adapted to the local climate
oIten require extra water. Iertilizer and pesticides. Many commonly known horticultural
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plants are also Virginia native plants. Table 8 lists commonly known Virginia native
plants. For complete listings. visit DCR`s website at
www.dcr.virginia.gov/naturalhertiage/nativeplants.shtml. To Iind local nurseries that
sell Virginia native plants. visit the Virginia Native Plant society website at
www.vnps.org.


Table 8: Virginia Native Plants
Herbaceous Plants Trees & Shrubs
Aster Redbud
Dephinium Dogwood
Bleeding heart Sugar maple
Iris Sweetgum
Phlox White oak
Black eyed Susan Water oak
ConeIlower Virginia pine
Lobelia Witch hazel
Goldenrod Holly
Azalea
[38-40]


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R Re ef fe er re en nc ce es s
1. Garthwaite. A.. et al.. Water. 2007. Credit Suisse: New York. NY.
2. DEQ. Status of Jirginia´s water resources. a report of Jirginia´s water supplv
planning activities 2005. 2006. Department oI Environmental Quality: Richmond.
VA.
3. DEQ. Status of Jirginia´s water resources. a report on Jirginia´s water supplv
planning activities 2003. 2004. Department oI Environmental Quality: Richmond.
VA.
4. DEQ. State of Jirginia´s water resources. a report on Jirginia´s water svpplv
planning activities 2004. 2005. Department oI Environmental Quality: Richmond.
VA.
5. U.S. Water News Online. Senate OKs bill on rural water adequacv. 2007.
6. EPA. EPA. state. environment groups promote 'green infrastructure` solution to
water pollution. 2007 |cited 2007 June 11|; Available Irom:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsI/e87e8bc7Id0c11I1852572a000650c05/a
21bca9I2361dd94852572c200662e60!OpenDocument. .
7. Stoner. N.. C. Kloss. and C. Calarusse. Rooftops to rivers. Green strategies for
controlling stormwater and combined sewer overflows. 2006. National Resources
DeIense Council: New York. NY.
8. DCR. Code of Jirginia. Jirginia stormwater management act. Virginia Soil and
Water Conservation Board and Virginia Department oI Conservation and
Recreation. Editor. 2004.
9. Census. Jirginia QuickFacts. 2007. U.S. Census Bureau: Washington. D.C.
10. Crowley. B.J.. Neighborhood level analvsis of rainwater catchment in Portland.
OR. in Geographv. 2005. Portland State University: Portland. OR. p. 53.
11. Smith. A.. Tanks can delav need for salt water plan. 2007. Brisbane Times:
Brisbane. Australia.
12. Water Bank. World water cost survev. 2005 |cited 2005 July 7|; Available Irom:
http://www.waterbank.com/Newsletters/nws13.html.
13. Soultanian. R.D. Water price. the sleeping giant (Part I). 2002 |cited 2005 June
7. 2005|; Available Irom:
http://www.aquamedia.at/templates/printversion.cIm/id/3600.
14. Clark. E.H.. Water prices rising worldwide. 2007. Earth Policy Institute.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

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www.cabellbrandcenter.org
35
15. LEED. Green building rating svstem. for new construction and maior renovations
Jersion 2.1. 2002. U.S. Green Building Council: Washington. DC.
16. U.S. Green Building Council. Certified proiect list. Jirginia. LEED proiect lists
2007 |cited 2007 June 13. 2007|; Available Irom:
www.usbgc.org/LEED/Proiect/CertiIiedProiectList.aspx.
17. Deutsches Instititut Iur Normung. Rainwater harvesting svstems Part1. planning.
installation. operation and maintenance. 2002. Normenausschus Wasserwesen:
Berlin. Germany.
18. Koenig. K.W.. Rainwater harvesting. Public need or private pleasure?. in World
Water Forum. 2003: Kyoto City. Japan.
19. Texas Water Development Board. The Texas manual on rainwater harvesting.
Third edition. 2005. Texas Water Development Board.
20. Pushard. D. Rainwater harvesting. comparing storage solutions. 2007 |cited
2007 June 5|; Available Irom: www.harvesth2o.com/rainwaterstorage.shtml.
21. Macomber. P.S.H.. Guidelines on rainwater catchment svstems for Hawaii. 2001.
University oI Hawaii: Manoa. Hawaii.
22. Still. G.T. and T.H. Thomas. The optimum sizing of gutters for domestic
roofwater harvesting. 2002. University oI Warwick: Warwick. UK.
23. Texas Water Development Board. Texas guide to rainwater harvesting second
edition. 1997. Texas Water Development Board: Austin. TX.
24. EPA. Drinking water contaminants. 2006 |cited 2007 June 19|; Available Irom:
http://www.epa.gov/saIewater/contaminants/index.html.
25. EPA. Ground water & drinking water. 2006 |cited 2007 June 19|; Available
Irom: http://www.epa.gov/saIewater/standards.html.
26. TJSWCD. Collecting and utilizing rainfall runoff. a homeowner´s manual of
ideas for harvesting rainwater. M. Johnson. Editor. Thomas JeIIerson Soil and
Water Conservation District: Charlottesville. VA.
27. Ryan. J.. Rain harvesting loves metal roofs. Metal RooIing. 2005: p. 38-39.
28. Hart. C. and D. White. Best management practices for rainwater catchment
svstems in Alaska. 2003. Cold Climate Housing Research Center: Fairbanks. AK.
29. Younos. T.. et al.. Evaluation of rooftop rainfall collection - cistern storage
svstems in southwest Jirginia. 1998. Virginia Water Resource and Research
Center: Virginia Polytechnic and State University: Blacksburg. VA.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

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www.cabellbrandcenter.org
36
30. Mother Earth News. Harvest the rain. 2003 |cited 2007 June 20|; Available
Irom: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Home-Building/2003-08-
01/Harvest-Rainwater.aspx.
31. White. K.H.. L.R. Soward. and G. Shankle. Harvesting. storing. and treating
rainwater for domestic indoor use. 2007. Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality: Austin. TX.
32. Gold Coast City Council. Planning scheme policies policv 20. rainwater tanks. in
Gold Coast Planning Scheme. 2007. Gold Coast City Council: Gold Coast.
Australia.
33. Hayden. B.P. and P.J. Michaels. Jirginia´s Climate. 2000 |cited 2007 July 3|;
Available Irom: http://climate.virginia.edu/description.htm.
34. Hermanson. R.E. and R.C. Simmons. Home water-saving methods. in Drought
Advisorv. 2003. Washington State University Extension: Pullman. WA.
35. Brunt. G.. Rainwater harvesting. a win-win option. in Texas Watch. 2004.
Geography Department. Texas State University-San Marcos. p. 4-5.
36. EPA. Outdoor Water Use in the United States. in WaterSense. 2006.
Environmental Protection Agency: Washington. DC.
37. Irrigation Association. Turf and Landscape Irrigation Best Management
Practices. in Water Management Committee of the Irrigation Association. 2005.
38. DCR. Native plants. herbs. 2007. Virginia Department oI Conservation and
Recreation.
39. DCR. Native plants. shrubs. 2007. Virginia Department oI Conservation and
Recreation.
40. DCR. Native plants. trees. 2007. Virginia Department oI Conservation and
Recreation.





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V Vi ir rg gi in ni ia a A Ap pp pl li ic ca at ti io on n & & C Ca as se e S St tu ud di ie es s

Many individuals and companies within Virginia have adopted rainwater
harvesting practices Ior a variety oI reasons. The Iollowing will cover examples oI actual
rainwater harvesting systems located throughout the Commonwealth. why rainwater
harvesting was chosen. and the beneIits oI utilizing rainwater harvesting on-site.

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Commercial

Hospital
Aew River Jallev

At this site. a detention pond was
converted to a retention pond.

Harvested rainwater was diverted to
the pond. The pond water then
supplied water Ior cooling towers and
Ior irrigation.


Site beneIits:
 Cost savings.
 Reduce potable water
demands Ior nonpotable
needs.
 Reduce environmental
impact.



















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Nelson County Visitor`s Center
Aelson Countv

Both above and belowground systems
were installed on this site.

The aboveground system serves as a
demonstration tank Ior water
conservation. With the demonstration
tank. visitors can learn about rainwater
harvesting. water conservation and
environmental stewardship.

The belowground 3.400 gallon system is used Ior
irrigating the grounds.

Site beneIits:
 Education.
 Promote environmental stewardship.
 Reduce potable water demands Ior nonpotable
needs.


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Claude Moore Education Complex
Roanoke

This complex is equipped with siphonic rooI
drainage. which directs rainwater that Ialls on
the 12.000 sq. It. rooI to two nonpotable 2.500
gallon storage tanks.

The collected rainwater supplies water Ior
Ilushing toilets in the building.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce potable water demands Ior
nonpotable needs.
 Reduce stormwater runoII in impervious
city settings.
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Western Regional 1ail
Roanoke Countv

The Iirst LEED certiIied iail to be completed late
2008. The 250.000 sq. It. rooI will direct water to
Iour 30.000 gallon below ground tanks.

Collected rainwater will be used to wash inmates`
clothing on-site.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce stormwater runoII on site located next
to the Roanoke River.
 Reduce potable water demands Ior nonpotable
needs.
 Promote green buildings and environmental
stewardship.


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Residential
Hillsville

The residential customer`s well could not
Iurnish water on a continual basis. The 5.000
gallon belowground rainwater storage system
supplies the home with potable water.

Should rainwater run out. the well serves as
backup by partially Iilling the tanks with well
water. There is still room Ior rainwater to Iill
the tanks and eliminate the need Ior well water.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce demand and reliance on well water.
 Conserve groundwater resources.
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Roanoke Countv

The home`s original well went dry in
2001. A second well was drilled to a depth
oI 900 Ieet. but produced only a halI-
gallon per minute. This was inadequate to
provide an ample water supply Ior peak
demand.

Six 400 gallon storage tanks were placed
in the crawl space. providing the customer
with a 2.400 gallon capacity oI stored rain
water. The harvested rain water was
Iiltered and sterilized Ior potable use. The proiect was coordinated with local oIIicials.
who issued a potable water permit Ior the rain water harvesting system.

Site beneIits:
 An additional well was not required.
 Reduce environmental impact.


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Charlottesville

This system consists oI 3.400 gallons
oI belowground storage (as seen in the
heads on the hillside).

The system is nonpotable and supplies
subsurIace irrigation. SubsurIace
irrigation was chosen over above
ground irrigation Ior the turI area.
SubsurIace irrigation directs water to
the roots and limits water loss to
evaporation.

Site beneIits:
 Increase water application
uniIormity.
 Conserve irrigation water.
 Reduce potable water demands Ior
nonpotable needs.
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Crozet

Below ground system includes 3.400
gallon tank. The residents at this site
will use the collected rainwater Ior
irrigation purposes.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce potable water demands Ior
nonpotable needs.
 Cost savings.
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46

Salem

This residential system was installed
with 20.000 gallon aboveground
storage capacity.

Collected rainwater is Iiltered and
treated Ior Iuture potable use.
Currently. the system is used Ior pool
Iilling and irrigation.

Upon installation and use. the
customer`s water bill was reduced by
70°.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce potable water demand Ior nonpotable needs.
 Cost savings.






Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
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www.cabellbrandcenter.org
47
Roanoke

This nonpotable residential system
was installed during a drought period.

The 500 gallon tank was used Ior
topping oII a small pond and irrigating
a small garden area.

The resident was then exempt Irom
irrigation restrictions since irrigated
water was not Irom municipal
supplies.

Site beneIits:
 Keep plants alive during drought. which is important Ior maintaining cooler
temperatures around the house thus. increasing the home`s energy eIIiciency.
 Reduce potable water demands Ior nonpotable needs.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
48
Non-Profit Organization
White Hall

This site includes a 1.500 gallon
aboveground system. Collected water
is Iiltered and treated Ior potable water
use. Downspout Iilters Iilter water
prior to entering the storage tanks.

Collected and treated water is used in
the greenhouse and adioining staII
spaces.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce potable demands Ior
nonpotable needs.
 Cost savings.















Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
49
Afton Mountain

This is the Iirst pilot home under the USGB (US Green Building) residential building
program.

Two 1.700 belowground tanks supply the home with 3.400 gallons oI potable water
storage capacity.

The home also has a well backup. When rainwater storage runs low. the system triggers
Ior the well water to partially Iill the tanks. Once rainIall starts again. the tanks Iill with
rainwater and the switch turns oII the well
water Iilling.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce demand/reliance on well
water.
 Conserve groundwater resources.
 Promote green buildings and
environmental stewardship.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
50
Franklin Countv

This lake home is equipped with
underground storage tanks. totalling 3.400
gallon nonpotable storage capacity.

Collected rainwater is used onsite Ior
landscape irrigation purposes.

Harvesting rainwater on this site is
essential to protect the lake`s integrity and
reduce nonpoint source pollution resulting
Irom rooItop stormwater runoII.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce potable water demands Ior
nonpotable needs.
 Reduce stormwater runoII and nonpoint
source pollution.
 Promote environmental stewardship.

Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
51
Agricultural

Rockingham Countv

At this site. the area around the barn was
extremely wet Irom run oII and cattle waste.
As a result. some oI the cattle were
developing hooI rot. Also. there existed no
water outlets near the building Ior watering.

A 5.000-gallon storage system was installed
to collect the barn runoII. Collected
rainwater is diverted to a pasture watering
troughs Ior Iarm animals.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce rooItop runoII and eliminate potential nonpoint source pollution.
 Provide Iarm animals with saIe drinking.
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
52
Charlottesville
A total oI 5.100 gallons underground
storage system was installed to supply
potable water needs.

Harvested rainwater is Iiltered and treated
prior to use by Iarmhands in the living
quarters. Water is also directed Ior use in
the stables. pasture watering coolers. and Ior
bathing horses. The owners noted the
horses` soIt coat aIter bathing in rainwater.

A well serves as a backup water supply. When rainwater levels run out. water well is
triggered to partially Iill the storage tanks. Upon rainIall. rainwater Iurther Iills up the
tanks.

Site beneIits:
 Reduce demand/reliance on groundwater sources.
 Protect groundwater resources.
 Supply Iarm animals with saIe drinking water.


Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual 2007

The Cabell Brand Center
Salem. VA
www.cabellbrandcenter.org
53
L Li in nk ks s

Water/Environment Virginia
Chesapeake Bay Foundation http://www.cbI.org
The Nature Conservancy in Virginia http://www.nature.org/wherewework/
northamerica/states/virginia/
Virginia Environmental Endowment www.vee.org
Virginia Department oI Conservation
and Recreation
www.dcr.virginia.gov
Virginia Native Plant Society www.vnps.org


Water/Environment National
EPA Water Sense www.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/outdoor.htm
Harvest H20 www.harvesth20.com
The Nature Conservancy www.nature.org
Virginia Department oI Conservation
and Recreation
www.dcr.virginia.gov
Water Use it Wisely www.wateruseitwisely.com/index.shtml



Engineering/Products
Jay R. Smith MIg. Co. www.iayrsmith.com
USBGC LEED certiIication www.usgbc.org/LEED/
Rainwater Management Solutions www.rainwatermanagement.com
Wisy AG www.wisy.de


Manual 2007

VIRGINIA RAINWATER HARVESTING MANUAL

Compiled by The Cabell Brand Center

August 2007

Contributing Authors: Adrienne LaBranche, Hans-Otto Wack, Ph.D., David Crawford, Ed Crawford, Nickolas 1. Sojka, DVM and Cabell Brand.
The Cabell Brand Center Salem, VA www.cabellbrandcenter.org

Manual 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements Urgent Freshwater Problems

1 2

The Trend
Future of Rainwater Harvesting Systems Residential Commercial Industrial Agricultural Fire Suppression Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Application Environment Economic Taxes Cost of water LEED Certification Low Impact Development Technical Standards and Rules Components Plumbing Tanks Conveyance systems Filters Cleaning and Maintenance
Gutters Downspouts Filters Tanks Design & Installation

4
5 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 16 16 16 18 19 21
21 21 21 22

Water Quality Water quality standards Oxygenation Treating potable water Factors affecting water quality Sizing a System Calculations Virginia Rainfall Distribution Indoor Water Conservation Irrigation Scheduling Water Conservation Tips Installation & Maintenance Application References Virginia Application & Case Studies Commercial
The Cabell Brand Center Salem, VA www.cabellbrandcenter.org

22 23 23 24 25 25 27 27 28 30 31 31 32 32 32 34 37 38

Manual 2007

Residential Agricultural. Links

42

51 53

The Cabell Brand Center Salem, VA www.cabellbrandcenter.org

11

Manual 2007

LIST OF FIGURES

Fig. 1: Rainwater harvesting system 3 Fig. 2: Small residential nonpotable rainwater harvesting system 7 Fig. 3: Commercial or large residential above ground nonpotable rainwater harvesting system 7 Fig. 4: Commercial or large residential below ground rainwater harvesting system 8 Fig. 5: Siphonic roof drain 8 Fig. 6: Collection pond with aeration fountain 9 Fig. 8: Below ground tank 16 Fig. 9: Downspout filter 19 Fig. 10: Vortex and downspout filters 19 Fig. 11: Calming Inlet 20 Fig. 12: Floating fine filter with pressure pump 21 Fig. 13: Old and modem filter designs 21 Fig. 14: Biofilm and angled overflow pipe 24 Fig. 15: Residential UV light potable water treatment.. 25 Fig. 16: Average Virginia annual precipitation 28

The Cabell Brand Center Salem, VA www.cabellbrandcenter.org

111

VA www.cabellbrandcenter.Manual 2007 LIST OF TABLES Table Table Table Table Table Table Table 1: Tank Comparison 2: Purification Options 3: Roofing material and associated contaminants 5: Industrial rainfall catchment (gallons) 6: Recommended tank size (gallons) 7: Water Saving Appliance Comparison 8: Virginia Native Plants 17 25 26 29 29 30 33 The Cabell Brand Center Salem.org IV .

Brand's safe drinking water advocacy. These organizations and individuals offered expertise and funding to create a well-rounded informational manual aimed to educate and promote rainwater harvesting in Virginia and throughout the US. the Cabell Brand Center would not exist without Mr. Without the continued dedication towards environmental awareness and advocacy. The Cabell Brand Center would like to thank a variety of individuals and organizations through which the Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual could not be possible. Appreciation is also expressed to the late Nikolas 1. Cabell Brand himself heading the endeavors. Rainwater Management Solutions in Salem. Their help was pivotal in supplying this manual with modem rainwater harvesting technologies.org . He founded The Cabell Brand Center in 1987 and since then has focused on local environmental issues. DVM and his assistance covering agricultural topics. The Nature Conservancy also supplied funding to allow this manual and rainwater harvesting to be promoted at the 2007 Greenbuild Conference in Chicago. Without Mr. Sojka. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. this project would not be possible.Manual 2007 Ackn([)w~edgemel!)ts.cabellbrandcenter. This manual would not be possible without the financial assistance of the Virginia Environmental Endowment and Gerald McCarthy. VA www. Virginia and the German based Wisy Company served as technical consultants in this project.

Some countries like Australia. and reliable alternative water source. 4] Due to the increasing demand for public water supplies. In 2005. Not only does rainwater harvesting supply water for indoor and The Cabell Brand Center Salem. while water supplies remain constant. These numbers are up from 2004 and 2003. As a result. with 33% and 12%. Rainwater harvesting offers an affordable.org 2 . coming from groundwater [3. Although Virginia is considered a "wet" state. Similarly. Since water is a finite resource. and developers must look at alternative water sources to supply the demands. residents. Bermuda. Belgium and India are requiring all new development in certain areas to be equipped with rainwater harvesting systems to preserve declining groundwater supplies. county and state officials. Worldwide water consumption is rising at double the rate of population growth[l]. simple. the Arizona Senate approved a bill that would allow counties and cities in rural Arizona to restrict housing developments without long-term water supplies [5]. Decentralized rainwater harvesting offers an oftentimes overlooked alternative and sustainable water source. 59% of the state's water was used for public water with 36% coming from groundwater sources [2]. A recent report by Credit Suisse [1] stated that by 2025 18 countries will experience water demand beyond supply capabilities.Manual 2007 Urgent lI'resbwater Problems The water supply situation today is very different than it was 100. Germany. Since only 2. 50. sustainable. where 57% and 54% of water was for public supply. as it receives on average 45 inches of rainfall a year.5% of the world's water is freshwater. Furthermore. some state localities have restricted or prevented development in areas with insufficient drinking water supplies. Populations continue to increase throughout the years. Some US housing developments are even incorporating rainwater harvesting in their low impact development designs as means to reduce municipal water demand and deter stormwater runoff. The amount of water available today is the same amount of water that was available 100 years ago. respectively. or even 25 years ago. planners.cabellbrandcenter. In March of2007. VA www. Virginia's water consumption is continually increasing. groundwater levels are declining and municipal treatment plants are struggling to supply current demands while dealing with declining infrastructures. current and future plans must strive to maintain or improve available water quality while utilizing the available water resources as efficiently as possible. This is becoming even more important as populations increase worldwide. ensuring that this small amount of available water is utilized efficiently and quality is maintained is a daunting task. These regulations were made in response to the imbalance of population demand and available water supply. the increasing populations place increasing demands on water supplies.

. Rainwater harvesting is ideal for large retail and industrial buildings. linen washing. This manual details the benefits of rainwater harvesting. An industrial rainwater harvesting design starts with siphonic roof drainage.. . Not only does the company save water consumption costs. it is reducing pollution and protecting local waterways. especially ones with expansive parking lots.. facility cleaning and irrigation. Rainwater is diverted from the flat roofto either an on-site storage tank(s) or pond. which is less expensive to install compared to traditional methods (see Industrial Systems).Manual 2007 outdoor use.. and addresses best management practices for rainwater harvesting design and utilization.org 3 . it protects the environment from detrimental nonpoint source pollution by reducing rooftop runoff. The ability of this system to reduce stormwater runoff can also be leverage for a company looking to attain building permits. Stored water is then diverted both indoors and outdoors to be recycled for toilet flushing... 1: Rainwater harvesting system Graphic courtesy ojWISY AG The Cabell Brand Center Salem. reducing stormwater runoff through low impact development may be included in building permits. The stormwater reduction aspect of rainwater harvesting holds this alternative water source above other alternative sources because rather than contributing to pollution through salt discharge (desalination) or energy consumption. VA www. 0 C l-r Q r. Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable approach to accomplishing this. while providing an alternative water source. Overflo "" ~{) Q 0 0 0 ~O 0 Calming inlet Fig. In the future.cabellbrandcenter.. both economical and environmental. but it also reduces stormwater runoff on the site. Acting proactively to protect the environment and conserve resources is beneficial today and tomorrow.

Whatever the reason. perhaps it is the desire to reduce stormwater runoff. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Although rainwater harvesting has existed since the days of the early Romans.Manual 2007 Today's rainwater harvesting systems have evolved significantly and offer technologically advanced components. but this site fails to cover rainwater harvesting techniques beyond simple rain barrels. Today.cabellbrandcenter.org 4 . as will many of the included European techniques and standards. its popularity declined once central treatment facilities were able to supply treated drinking water. perhaps it is to save money by utilizing this free source of water. harvesting rooftop rainwater is more popular in European countries like Germany and England than the United States. On Earth Day. The Virginia Manual on Rainwater Harvesting will address the wide variety of rainwater harvesting system designs for residential. What has spurred this shift back to the seemingly elementary process of collecting rainwater? Perhaps it is the rise in environmental awareness and the public's desire to protect current resources. While the EPA recognizes the need to harvest rainwater to protect local waterways. However. Harvesting rainwater has a long-term impact on the local water resources by reducing demands for surface and groundwater withdrawals. Rainwater harvesting systems are much more evolved than a rain barrel attached to a downspout. perhaps it is the increasing drought occurrences. rainwater harvesting is indeed gaining popularity and can offer a sustainable alternative potable and non-potable water source. 2007. The Virginia Manual on Rainwater Harvesting further aims to educate Virginia residents about rainwater harvesting techniques. VA www. such as rain-catching roofs and gardens. perhaps it is the movement to conserve and promote sustainability. modem rainwater harvesting literature is lacking. The addressed rainwater harvesting theories will apply to all states. rainwater harvesting is gaining popularity again for a variety of environmental and economic reasons. commercial and industrial buildings. but the theory remains the same. The news article directs readers to another site concerning green infrastructure. April 19. with most adopters being rural dwellers with failing wells with no local municipal line and large corporations wishing to conserve water and reduce utility bills. to lessen sewer overflows and runoff after storms" [6]. Obviously. technology and techniques have changed considerably from the days of the early Romans. Including rainwater harvesting in local and regional water supply plans offers an alternative and sustainable water source while protecting the local environment. or perhaps it is a combination of many of these factors. harvesting rainwater protects the integrity of local waterways by reducing nonpoint source pollution. Adoption is equally low in Virginia. Also. the EPA Administrator signed a statement of intent to "promote the use of green infrastructure approaches.

Decentralized water sources. and sustainable systems with minimum ecological disturbance. Creating national and international rainwater harvesting system standards can assist in developing low maintenance. experiences with the technology. In addition. like rainwater. especially in the age when groundwater supplies are depleting and municipal water infrastructures are facing high replacement costs. architects. and examples of successfully designed and installed systems will be highlighted. However. Europe and the US.cabellbrandcenter. craftsmen. design. Additional water treatment components must be installed to treat potable water to drinking water standards (see Water Quality).fitted to existing buildings or integrated into new building designs. Component prefabrication companies. Rainwater harvesting design and installation requires a network of professionals. mediocre products. sustainable rainwater harvesting components. International businesses have made strides in recent years in producing high quality. available technology. engineers. are needed to guarantee long-term ecologically sound water supplies. Many households/businesses use potable water for nonpotable needs (see list below).Manual 2007 Future of Rainwater Harvesting Rainwater harvesting systems serve as an alternative decentralized water source. and water quality issues. A majority of the water a household/business uses is for nonpotable needs. installed rainwater harvesting systems. installation. The use of decentralized rainwater harvesting systems is growing nationally and internationally. water providers and local authority districts all are involved in designing. which have influenced the market's expansion. Utilizing potable water for nonpotable needs wastes resources and places unneeded strain on local treatment plants. the promise for economic gains fueled inferior companies to produce non-sustainable. social and environmental impact. installing and regulating rainwater harvesting systems The Virginia Manual of Rainwater Harvesting will detail rainwater harvesting application. safe.org Building washing/power washing Cooling towers Fire suppression Household cleaning Industrial processing 5 . Systems Rainwater harvesting is suitable for all building types ranging from residential to commercial and industrial and can be retro. Nonpotable demands include: • • • • • The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Collected rooftop water can be used for nonpotable (non-drinking water) and potable (drinking water) demands. especially in industrial countries like Asia. VA www.

Municipal or well water can also serve as a backup source of water if the rainwater runs dry.Manual 2007 • • • • • Potable demands include: • • • • Residential Landscape irrigation Laundry washing Pool/pond filling Toilet flushing Vehicle washing Drinking water Cooking Bathing Dish washing Residential systems can be designed for nonpotable and potable needs.org 6 . laundry washing and landscape irrigation. ideal for irrigation purposes. depending on desired water use. See Components for the technical principles. An air gap or backflow preventer is necessary between rainwater and municipal water supplies leading to the storage tank to prevent cross contamination (see Plumbing). See Water Quality to determine the water treatment system that is most appropriate for the home's potable needs. See Tanks section to determine whether an above or below ground tank is best and to determine tank size needed based on area rainfall and roof area. Plumbing for potable and nonpotable rainwater sources must be completely separate systems. rainwater harvesting should be used solely for nonpotable needs like toilet flushing. VA www. A pressure pump can pump water long distances for outside irrigation and indoor use and does not require the tank to be elevated. A system without a pressure pump relies on gravity feed.cabellbrandcenter. that removes a large percentage of contaminants before the water is stored onsite in an above or below ground tank. We recommend that if potable water is available. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. All systems require a guttering/conveyance method that drains rooftop runoff to a fine filter. Figure 2 shows a small residential nonpotable system. Rainwater harvesting can serve as an alternative water source for rural homes where municipal water is not available and well drilling has not proven profitable. the tank must be located at a higher elevation than the garden and/or building. Rainwater can also supplement well or municipal water supplies to reduce demand on these supplies to serve nonpotable demands in and around the home. therefore.

Water demand. 3: Commercial or large residential above ground nonpotable rainwater harvesting system Graphic courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Many commercial or large residential buildings prefer to direct rainwater for toilet flushing. A larger filter is needed to filter water from a larger roof area.org 7 .Manual 2007 _I Fig. Needs may be different for a commercial building than a residential household. roof size. 2: Small residential nonpotable rainwater harvesting system Graphic courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions Commercial Commercial (or large residential) rainwater harvesting systems can also supply both potable and nonpotable needs. Filter Tank Floating Calming Filter Inlet Fig. The soft rainwater is also beneficial for cleaning purposes as less detergent is needed.cabellbrandcenter. Figure 3 shows a commercial or large residential above ground rainwater harvesting system and Fig. and available onsite storage should be considered when sizing a collection tank. a submersible pump is necessary to pump water for indoor use. 4 shows a commercial or large residential below ground system. In nearly all cases. The water passes again through a floating filter that protects both the sediment layer and the pump before it is pumped for use. especially in buildings with high customer traffic. VA www. The addition of a calming inlet allows water to enter the tank without disturbing the important sediment layer on the bottom of the tank (See Oxygenation).

Tanks range in size depending on the connected roof size. Water not used can also be directed for groundwater recharge. Rooftop runoff is diverted to an on-site storage tank or pond. 4: Commercial or large residential below ground rainwater harvesting system Graphic courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions See Tanks section to determine the tank size needed based on rainfall and roof area.org 8 . backfill. the pond should be equipped with an aerator in the form of a fountain to continually add oxygen. Industrial Industrial buildings with flat roofs are best suited with a siphonic roof drainage system that follows the siphon principle to move water. the soft rainwater is beneficial for cleaning purposes as less detergent is needed. Fig.Manual 2007 Water Treatment System -o-mnr-£" Tank Fig.cabellbrandcenter. If rainwater is diverted to a pond. and wash linens or as irrigation. not only saving money but reducing the amount of detergent released into the environment. Co" Harvested rooftop rainwater can be used indoors to flush toilets. As in the commercial setting. VA www. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. as opposed to large aboveground storage tanks. Some companies opt to store water in a pond due to aesthetics. clean floors. See Water Quality to determine the water treatment system most appropriate for the home or business' potable needs. 5: Siphonic roof drain Photo compliments of Jay K Smith Mfg. A siphonic roof drainage system relies solely on gravity to move water and does not require a pitch to move water. Underslab piping can be reduced or eliminated when utilizing siphonic roof drainage systems. and trenching costs. Installation costs can be reduced by 30 to 40% due to the smaller pipe diameter and elimination or reduction in excavation. See Components for the technical principles.

Most of these units operate using pressure valves and can be fed by an above ground. Rainwater harvesting systems are capable of collecting the rainwater from roof surfaces during such rainfalls. Consultation with an engineer is needed to determine needed pond area. Harvesting rainwater from these facilities can reduce the amount of waste water created as well as decreasing the demand on wells and other water supplies. Automatic watering troughs are an efficient way to provide clean drinking water to livestock. This type of system allows for quality water at remote locations. gravity fed rainwater harvesting system.cabellbrandcenter. This situation allows rainwater from these facilities to become contaminated by fecal matter resulting in increased manure slurry that must be managed. VA www.org 9 . livestock buildings allow rainwater from the roofs to flow into areas occupied by animals. Such rain events produce too much water in too short a time for the ground to absorb. easily attained. If rainwater from these facilities is harvested. resulting in most of the rainwater being lost to runoff. and reduces groundwater depletion and pumping from local streams. Frequently. The heavy storm's rainwater can then be reapplied to the field at a suitable rate to promote water infiltration. See Components for the technical principles. Agricultural Rainwater harvesting is ideal for farm animal drinking water and agricultural and landscape irrigation. clubhouses.Manual 2007 Fig. hard rainfalls. During summer months. as it is salt free. The roofs of loafing sheds or other agricultural structures can be the source of this water. 6: Collection pond with aeration fountain Photo courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions See Tanks section to determine the tank size needed based on rainfall and roof area. By decreasing the diameter of the pipe feeding the trough. it can be used for watering livestock and washing down facilities and animals. greenhouses and equipment storage buildings. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. water pressure is increased to a level which can successfully operate the trough's valves. Virginia often experiences quick. Rainwater can be collected from rooftop surfaces of barns.

Fire suppression can go beyond indoor sprinkler systems to protect buildings from forest fires. While forest fires are not as common in Virginia as they are in the arid west. rainwater could serve as protection for some homes located in heavily forested areas in the advent of a fire. Stored water flows backward into the gutter system and overflows the gutters to form a shield of water. Rooftop and street runoff can be directed to an underground tank connected to a fire hydrant.cabellbrandcenter. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Another alternative is to collect rainwater for fire hydrants. Harvested rainwater can be directed to interior sprinkler systems and used in the advent of a building fire.Manual 2007 Fire Suppression Rainwater harvesting offers alternatives to municipally supplied water for fire suppression.org 10 . VA www. This prevents the reliance on potable water to fight fires and can reduce connection costs. especially in areas outside the main water distribution grid.

thus preventing it from running across the landscape and further contributing to nonpoint source pollution.Manual 2007 Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Application Environment When rain falls on a building. Maryland. Rainwater harvesting follows ecologically sound principles for water use as it reduces the impact on the land (see Low Impact Development). These impervious roof surfaces contribute to Virginia's ongoing problem of nonpoint source pollution. Modem rainwater harvesting systems are 95% efficient at collecting rooftop runoff. VA www. Effort is placed on protecting the Chesapeake Bay because of the diverse habitats and organisms that live in and around the watershed. the District of Columbia.org 11 . it lands on a rooftop. promotes sustainable practices. resulting in 19 billion gallons of rooftop runoff per year. chemicals. pesticides. Assuming each home has 1. which is a result of stormwater runoff. Installing rainwater harvesting systems in areas where nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff is a severe threat to stream integrity can significantly reduce The Cabell Brand Center Salem.500 square feet of roof area. which stretches through New York. and then is diverted either across land or to storm drain pipes. All of these collected surface pollutants contaminate waterways and affect native aquatic plants and animals.cabellbrandcenter.535 new homes [9]. it picks up detrimental pollutants such as bacteria from animal excrement or decaying animals. individuals and businesses can divert rooftop runoff into an on-site storage tank or pond. and West Virginia. Pennsylvania. oil. reduces peak flow levels. which rids the system oflarge debris (see Filters). drains to the gutters and drainpipes. Five percent is lost in the first flush. metals. Virginia population increases of nearly eight percent between 2000 and 2006 have resulted in an increase of 475. The Chesapeake Bay and its connecting rivers are plagued by nutrient and sediment pollution. reduces stormwater runoff. reduces reliance on ground and surface water. while any localities located outside this area may voluntarily adopt a local stormwater management program [8]. When the rainwater is carried across landscapes. sediment and trash [7]. Delaware. This rooftop runoff ultimately reaches local waterways. 713 million square feet of impervious roof surfaces were installed during this time. nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers. Through rainwater harvesting. Since Half of Virginia drains into the Chesapeake Bay watershed and two-thirds of Virginia's population lives within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. the health of this area impacts many. The Virginia Stormwater Management Act states that the localities covered under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act within in the Tidewater area are required to adopt a local stormwater management program. and promotes water conservation. Virginia. allows for groundwater recharge.

He determined that upon the installation of 4. However. Utilizing inferior quality.e. a student at Portland State University researched the feasibility of installing rainwater harvesting systems in an urban Portland neighbourhood. less expensive. Installing high-quality prefabricated components that last the life of the building is a sustainable building practice that is both economically and environmentally responsible. Rainwater harvesting may prove profitable for localities wishing to conserve dollars. Local cities may wish to investigate the economic and environmental impact of utilizing rainwater when investigating alternative water sources. More importantly is the longterm economic feasibility. as discussed in the next section. which gave income tax credit to individuals and corporations that installed rainwater harvesting systems. an economic study in Sydney. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. water consumption needs. harvesting rainwater combats flooding by reducing peak flow from high rain events. The combination of a high building lifespan of at least 40 years. highquality and sustainable prefabricated components. which is based on the building's operational lifespan and system design. water and the environment.Manual 2007 pollution loads. precipitation frequency. this bill was never funded and fell to the wayside. prices of local water and wastewater treatment. especially to provide potable water for nonpotable needs. In 2001. Virginia passed Senate Bill 1416. Since stormwater runoff can also lead to flooding.500 gallon tanks. VA www. work is underway to lobby for future tax incentives as rainwater harvesting is an environmentally responsible and economically feasible approach to conserving water and reducing nonpoint source pollution. they would collect and supply as much additional water as planned by the desalination plant [11]. Desalination is a very expensive process.org 12 . Unfortunately. and minimum system servicing needs equates to rainwater harvesting being economically feasible and ecologically sensitive. Melbourne and southeast Queensland investigated the feasibility of utilizing rainwater harvesting over desalination to supply increasing water demands. and results in toxic concentrated salt by-products. and the cost of installation and maintenance. For example. The economic benefits of rainwater extend beyond water supply costs. prefabricated components translates to higher service costs as these components must be replaced during the life of the building. Taxes Some states like Texas offer tax incentives for individuals and businesses interested in installing rainwater harvesting systems.cabellbrandcenter. The report stated that if five percent of households utilized rainwater harvesting. runoff could be reduced by 68%. Economic The economic feasibility of harvesting rainwater is based on many factors. while reducing demands on municipal water supplies for nonpotable water demands [10]. i. Also.

and systems ultimately pay for themselves within a few years. many cities have reduced the number of downspouts connected to sewer systems. rainwater harvesting systems with a connected vaporization system can raise site humidity and create a healthier microclimate. Through a downspout disconnect program. lakes. Appropriately designed rainwater harvesting systems will have minimal maintenance costs associated with upkeep (see Maintenance and Cleaning) and will show the best long-term relationship between cost and financial benefit. fill pools. wash vehicles. which means less detergent is used and released into the environment. and 27% in the last five years [14]. In fact. Such benefits may not have a direct price tag. but their value is long lasting and considerable. Municipally supplied is not needed to flush toilets. wastes resources. causing systems to overflow and even contaminate local waterways with untreated sewage. it does not necessarily address nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff.e. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. This time could be reduced. Rainwater is soft. upgrade declining infrastructures. Reducing potable water demand through rainwater harvesting could eliminate the need for infrastructure expansion. water costs are sure to rise to help offset the replacement/rehabilitation cost. In doing so. or irrigate money and resources are being wasted when potable water demands. to impervious surfaces) can increase nonpoint source pollution. lawns. utilizing rainwater as opposed to municipal and well water. In some urban areas. Installing a rainwater harvesting system can help residents reduce their water supply costs. Potable water wash clothes. rooftop runoff is instead land applied.Manual 2007 Cost of water The cost of municipally supplied water nationwide has increased by 9. most of the cost is up front cost. While the disconnect program addresses wastewater treatment overloading. the water treatment facilities are overwhelmed with stormwater. rooftop runoff is directed to storm drains and then to water treatment facilities. Likewise. Also. These large pipes are expensive to install and travel many miles through urban areas. inappropriately directed downspouts (i. benefits local streams.org 13 . Therefore. Most US infrastructure was installed soon after World War II and is now past the 50 year expected lifespan. Classifying rainwater as sewage is unnecessary. This is ideal for city areas dealing with air pollution. Prices will continue to rise because of increasing costs to treat water to adapt to EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act guidelines. and causes pollution.cabellbrandcenter. VA www. Rainwater harvesting's economic feasibility can also be calculated by its synergistic values. fight fires. depending on how quickly municipal water costs increase. and instill conservation programs. With rainwater harvesting systems. additional is consumed for non-potable water is treated to drinking water standards. depending on the system and local water prices. When a heavy rainfall occurs. Therefore. ponds and groundwater sources since less water will be pulled from these sources.8% from 1998 to 2001 [12].4% between 2001 and 2002 [13].

In fact. filter. many Virginia localities are urging LID development. • 1 point: Conserve existing natural areas. Through LID. The following rainwater harvesting applications will give points towards certification [15]: • 1 point: Reduce stormwater runoff. VA www. Rainwater harvesting is one component that can lead to certification.org 14 . or detain runoff water Residents and business owners who wish to retrofit current buildings or build LID dwellings can look to rainwater harvesting as an approach to combat the serious issue of stormwater runoff. economic and political reasons. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.cabellbrandcenter. designs aim to curtail stormwater runoff from these impervious surfaces or utilize alternative products that infiltrate. store. 26 to 32 points are needed. but also supplies the building with an alternative water source while reducing reliance on groundwater or municipal water. water conservation and stewardship is important throughout the state. Low Impact Development Low impact development (LID) aims to mimic a site's pre-development hydrology through the use of innovative techniques and design. development is not likely to stop anytime soon.Manual 2007 Installing and utilizing rainwater harvesting systems can have a trickle-down effect and cause other companieslindividuals/organizations to be more environmentally conscious for environmental. Including rainwater harvesting in retrofits or new designs not only reduces stormwater runoff. twenty buildings in Virginia have some level ofLEED rating [16]. • 1 point: Use captured rain to reduce potable water consumption. Thus. which certifies buildings based on environmentally conscious design. To attain basic LEED certification. However. In the late 1990's the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed a LEED certification process. Rainwater harvesting systems typically increase residential property value and offer current and future residents the opportunity to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle. LEED Certification With continuing population increases. Typical development designs include a variety of impervious surfaces such as roofing and paving. green building design reduces the environmental impact of development. A majority of these buildings are located in Northern Virginia where energy and water supplies are especially strained due to sheer population numbers. According to the USGBC website. However. • 1 point: Reduce generation of wastewater and potable water demand. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification can be attained. demand for housing and retail shops will also continue. By following green building practices. as it is identified as a sustainable water source that lessens environmental impact through reduced stormwater runoff and reliance on municipally supplied water.

in countries where such standards and regulations do not exist. installing and regulating rainwater harvesting systems. and ministries of environment and health all follow these standards. Eliminate fine and coarse particles prior to storage. the German standards can be adopted. Rainwater harvesting design and installation requires a network of professionals. Installation. professional organizations. sustainable rainwater harvesting components.org the following DIN 1989 guidelines. Adopting DIN 1989 would be another step to establishing international rainwater harvesting standards. Therefore. Creating national and international rainwater harvesting standards can assist in developing low maintenance. Ensure stored water is high in oxygen.Manual 2007 Technical Standards and RWI~es During the developmental phase of the modem rainwater harvesting system. Today's rainwater harvesting system designs should follow DIN 1989 Part 1: Planning. the promise of economic gains caused inferior companies to produce non-sustainable.cabellbrandcenter. Component prefabrication companies. sustainable components. water quality specialists. collect. which have influenced the market's expansion. and system design. Germany was the leader in these studies between 1987 and 1997. the United States. Provide high-quality. mediocre products. DIN 1989 is a German compilation of standards comprised of skeptics and advocates from the private and public sectors [18]. and sustainable systems with minimum ecological disturbance. Operation and Maintenance [17]. i. involving only the most qualified personnel ensures a successful and sustainable product. International businesses have made strides in recent years by producing high quality. water providers and local authority districts are all involved in designing. The studies also gathered data referring to potable and nonpotable rainwater quality. which focused on improved prefabricated components. and store water.e. safe. Rainwater harvesting systems should be designed to ensure water maintains its purity while in storage. some countries investigated water quality and technology improvements. Systems should fulfill • • • • • The Cabell Brand Center Salem. German water providers. This is accomplished through the implementation of precision products that divert. All practical experiences confirm that the German standards are sufficient to reach a technically sustainable and safe rainwater harvesting design. economic efficiency. craftsmen. Fortify rooftop runoffwith oxygen. to ensure safe. Like every new technology. These studies and practical experiences assisted in drafting rainwater harvesting technical standards. engineers. local authority districts. However. VA www. architects. high quality products. Protect stored water from contamination. 15 .

Removing knobs from outside spigots is one approach to prevent unauthorized use. To ensure cross contamination does not occur. against unauthorized usage. Tanks Tanks are the most expensive component in the rainwater harvesting system. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. therefore municipal potable water should also be a backup for non-potable needs. there may be times when rainwater supplies are exhausted. two completely separate plumbing systems must exist to supply potable and non-potable water. All nonpotable water plumbing should be labeled as such." Also. Plumbing When utilizing both rainwater and potable municipal water supplies. Rainwater harvesting systems should be designed to incorporate either a backflow blocker or an air gap to ensure contamination does not occur between the rainwater and municipal water. The following guidelines are not rules in Virginia. tanks can be partially filled with potable municipal supplies. The air gap should allow 2 em.Manual 2007 • Require minimum maintenance. the aforementioned criteria can be achieved. Components By following the German standards for rainwater harvesting design. Therefore. VA www. However. The many tank materials vary based on local availability and climate. of airspace or space equivalent to 3 times the municipal water supply pipe diameter. but are based on DIN 1989 standards and various United States state standards. Signs must be displayed at all faucets and spigots supplying nonpotable water that state "not drinking water.cabellbrandcenter.org 16 . The municipal water inlet must be installed above the highest possible rainwater level and overflow outlet to ensure cross contamination does not occur. rainwater spigots must be protected. The compilation serves as a guideline for creating the best management practices in Virginia. This section details the various components necessary for rainwater harvesting and sets guidelines for installation and maintenance. especially in public buildings. In the event of a rainwater shortage. separate plumbing systems must be installed for both potable and non-potable rainwater. tanks are the most important part of the system as water supply is dependent on a fully functioning tank. Potable and nonpotable plumbing can be distinguished through different color pipes.

Some tanks are not suitable for certain climatic areas.Manual 2007 Tanks can be installed either above or below ground. . versatile install above or below ground decreases rainwater corrosiveness durable and immoveable keeps water cool in hot climates Stone. The table below (Table 1) describes available tank materials and their corresponding advantages and disadvantages.cabellbrandcenter. When tanks are installed below ground. Since Virginia is a fairly humid state. inexpensive commercially available alterable and moveable available in variety of sizes film develops inside to prevent corrosion commercially available alterable and moveable Disadvantages must be sited on smooth. thereby reducing chances of bacterial growth. dry locations. However. immoveable. Table 1: Tank Comparison Tank Material Plastic Fiberglass Advantages commercially available alterable and moveable little maintenance light weight commercially available alterable. water is maintained at a cool temperature and light is blocked. VA www. do not place underground difficult to maintain expensive to build durable and immoveable install above or below ground durable. placing tanks underground adds to installation costs and may be limited in areas where soil is especially rocky. climate and soil conditions. level footing pressure proof for below ground installation UV -degradab le must be painted or tinted pressure proof for below ground installation Polyethylene Trash cans (20-50 gallon) Metal Galvanized steel tanks must use only new cans small storage capabilities possibly corrosion and rust must be lined for potable use only above ground use Steel drums (55-gallon) Concrete Ferroconcrete Monolithic/Poured-inplace verify prior to use for toxics prone to corrosion an rust small storage capabilities potential to crack and leak neutralizes acid rain potential to crack and leak permanent neutralizes acid rain in clay soil. Tank location is dependent on aesthetics. solid. Some prefer not to see the storage tank and opt to bury it. available in variety of sizes install above or below ground little maintenance commercially available . wood tanks can be used throughout. However.org 17 . concrete block The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Wood tanks are not recommended for hot. installing tanks below ground may not be advisable in the mountainous regions and areas with a high groundwater level. moveable. affordable.

Guttering systems should be pitched to ensure all water runs out and the gutter is allowed to dry between rainfall events to prevent mosquito breeding and bacterial growth. overflow can be connected to the public sewer system.Manual 2007 Wood Pine. downspouts and return pipes and is responsible for transporting rainwater from the roof to the filter before it reaches the storage tank. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Conveyance systems The conveyance system includes gutters. Creating a sturdy foundation ensures the tank will not tilt and ultimately collapse. This is typically done only in city settings where no pervious surfaces exist. a pressure pump may be necessary to move water from the tank to the desired location (see Pumps). it should be positioned high enough to allow for gravity feed. Therefore. cedar. Tanks should be placed on level ground. Specially designed guttering systems are not necessary for harvesting rainwater. pond. Otherwise. If situated on the ground. dry locations only above ground use [19-21J Tanks should be located within close proximity to the building and overflow should be directed to another tank. cypress attractive. VA www. In the event of overflow. If no alternatives exist. Installing covered gutters or adding guards to existing gutters is ideal to prevent debris buildup and clogging. If the tank will be gravity fed to irrigate gardens.org 18 . The pitch should be 0. durable contains natural preservative can be disassembled to move available in variety of sizes expensive site built by skilled technician not for use in hot. the foundation should be compacted soil covered with sand. they serve as an integral part in transporting water efficiently and effectively.5% for 2/3 of its length and 1% for the remaining 1/3 length and ideally a semi-circular or trapezoidal shape [22]. or a pervious surface. and water should be directed away from the building to protect it from any water damage. Existing guttering systems can be retrofitted to divert water to storage tanks. Gutter systems should remain free from debris at all times to ensure water moves freely from roof surfaces to the storage tank. Overflow piping must be the same or a larger diameter to that of the inlet piping.cabellbrandcenter. redwood. Gutters move rainwater from the roof surface to the downspouts. infiltration device. water should be diverted away from the tank and foundation to maintain the foundation's integrity [21].

which could block fabric pores. Stainless steel is considered the best filter fabric because it can withstand all weather conditions. filters should remain efficient in filtering water and diverting as much water as possible into the storage tank. Modem filters require extremely low maintenance and cleaning and can efficiently collect more than 90% of filtrated rainwater. lOis constructed solely of stainless steel. even ice formation and frost.cabellbrandcenter. Fig. 9). fabrics should be made of stable materials that will not change shape and can withstand temperature changes. filters should be selfcleaning and self-drying between rainfall events. is self cleaning and self drying. We recommend first flush fine filters when filtering water from gutters prior to storage. After the 5% first flush. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. VA www. allowing large contaminants from the roof surface to be flushed through. the fine filter is wet and begins filtering fine contaminants as water is diverted to a storage tank. Filter meshes less than 0. These filters require 5% of the water to flow through. but also to supply oxygen to water during the filtration process. the appropriate filter should be paired with the appropriate roof area.org 19 . To ensure the effectiveness of the filter.Wack Fig. maintains shape. oxygenated and directed to storage tanks.Manual 2007 Filters The goal of a filter is to not only to eliminate contaminants. An advanced filter does not restrict the diameter of the gutter and is positioned either vertically connected to the gutter system or horizontally connected to the downspouts (see Fig. thus reducing contamination likelihood. and frost. Therefore. and does not rust. Filter fabric should dry between rainfall events to prevent algae and biofilm growth. 10 include a removable stainless steel filter insert and the downspout filter in Fig. Even with high rainfall events. Also. The vortex filters in Fig. 9: Downspout filter Image courtesy of Hans Otto. utilizing high quality filters ensures water is sufficiently filtered. ice formation. 10: Vortex and downspout filters Images courtesy of Wisy A G. Also.5 mm work best.

If the tank were cleaned the biologically stable biofilm would be destroyed.Manual 2007 Best quality filters need inspection only two to four times a year and last the lifespan of the building. Water is directed upwards. Fig. VA www. 11). In round tanks. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. This film is biologically active and converts organic materials to CO2 and mineral substances. this balance only occurs when water is fine filtered prior to entering the tank.cabellbrandcenter. filtered water while oxygenating the water to further ensure pure stored water. However. one calming inlet can evenly distribute the fresh rainwater. smooth the entering water to prevent it from disturbing fine particulate matter on the bottom of the tank (see Fig. 11: Calming Inlet Image courtesy ofWisy AG Soil sediment consists of fine particulate matter that settled to the tank bottom. it is important to ensure water passes through a filter <0. If larger organic matter is present in the tank. assists in cleaning the water and reduces the soil sediment layer. and production resources. Otherwise. To aspirate the water from the tank. a floating filter is located at the end of the pump's suction hose (Fig. Calming inlets. oxygen is depleted and harmful anaerobic conditions occur. like the first flush filter. several calming inlets may be necessary to provide evenly distributed fresh rainwater. Floating filters are best when they are 0. similar to the aerobic cleaning processes in brooks. energy. Therefore. Purchasing sustainable products for rainwater harvesting further emphasizes the environmental impact by conserving water. 12). only fine sediment collects in the tank. This natural process. Filter fabric should be of excellent quality stainless steel. located at the bottom of storage tanks. The calming inlet also distributes fresh.5 mm prior to storage.2 mm particle size. a coarse meshed floating filter can be used. reducing inflow speed and preventing water from whirling in the tank. Research should be conducted to ensure first rate products are integrated into a building's rainwater harvesting design. Therefore. It protects the soil sediment from destruction and protects the pump against particles.org 20 . In larger square tanks.

Gutters: Gutters should be periodically flushed to clear them of organic matter and help eliminate any clogs. However. while the filter on the right never needs replacing. the self-cleaning filter does require monitoring as buildup may occur.cabellbrandcenter. depending on the local environmental conditions. Filters: Modem filters do not require replacing and require little maintenance. Fig. The roofwasher on the left requires periodic cleaning and filters need replacing yearly. they too should be monitored and checked periodically to ensure water is entering and flowing through the gutter. 12: Floating fine filter with pressure pump Image courtesy ofWisy AG Cleaning and Maintenance Appropriately designed rainwater harvesting systems require very little maintenance. However. Downspouts: Downspouts should be checked occasionally. 13: Old and modem filter designs Images courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions and Wisy AG The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Any debris should be removed to ensure the water flows through freely.org 21 .Manual 2007 Fig. Figure 13 shows the difference between the old design and the modem filter design. like any household component. If the stainless steel filter insert needs cleaning. VA www. it should be checked periodically to ensure it is operating efficiently and appropriately. it can be washed in the dishwasher. unlike the old roof washer design. especially where they connect to the gutter. While some gutter guards are advertised as never clogging.

Only licensed contractors should install any rainwater harvesting system.org 22 . Storage tank must be located on a lower grade than the filter. Systems must be equipped with overflow pipes that direct water to another tank. but special rainwater harvesting installers are not required.Manual 2007 Tanks:If a first flush filter is not used. Storage tanks should be accessible for maintenance and cleaning. tanks will not require cleaning as the biofilm on the bottom of the tank improves water quality by adding oxygen (see Oxygenation). Floating filters should be incorporated at the pump aspiration hose. All system parts should be high quality to last the lifetime of the building. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. pervious surface. Potable storage systems (cistern) should be located at least 50 feet from possible contamination. VA www. Licensed plumbers are required by law to install any plumbing systems. Storage tank must exclude light. termite treated buildings. • Quicklime: 1 oz. or pond. Other common neutralizing agents and their dose are as follows: • Limestone: 2 oz. • Caustic soda: 1. Design & Installation All rainwater harvesting system designs should be conducted by a licensed professional engineer experienced in rainwater harvesting design. • Soda ash: 1 oz. tanks will require yearly cleaning to remove organic debris buildup. Pieces of limestone rock can be placed in the tank to assist in neutralizing the water. Calming inlets are necessary to disperse water upwards and protect the oxygenating biofilm on the bottom of the tank. Systems must be equipped with fine filters. A neutralizing agent can be added to the tank to combat pH problems. The following list includes basic guidelines that should be followed when designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Only rooftop rainwater should be collected. stormwater pipes. Systems designed for potable use must be equipped with appropriate water treatment components [23]. i. water pH should be tested periodically. If a first flush filter is used. • Hydrated lime: 1 oz. The roof materials should be selected carefully.5 oz. Storage tank openings must be covered and screened.cabellbrandcenter. In areas where acid rain is a problem. septic tanks.e.

Rainwater harvesters should be aware of water borne pathogens and possible water contaminants in untreated rainwater.cabellbrandcenter. VA www. wood. the general public is often leery of consuming and utilizing rainwater for potable and/or nonpotable use. dead animals. The EPA website [24] The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Contaminates of concern include: • • • • • algae chemical compounds (aerosols.org 23 .) microorganisms from organic solids (bird excrement. Rainwater qualities: • • • • • naturally soft slightly acidic (6. During dry spells. Water quality standards There are currently no United States water quality standards specifically for rainwater harvesting. The debris is washed off the surface upon rainfall and diverted through the first flush filtering process. Standards exist for drinking water quality and they should be followed if rainwater is to be used for drinking water. dust. debris may accumulate on the roof surface.Manual 2007 Because of the lack of readily available information concerning rainwater quality. moss. etc.8) contains no sodium contains very few contaminants and bacteria completely safe for nonpotable use in and around a building Rainwater is considered uncontaminated until it falls on a roof and absorbs contaminates from both the roof and air.) organic and inorganic solids (leaves. etc. It is recommended that overhanging branches should be trimmed back to reduce the organic matter build up and thwart animal access. sand. etc. Although contaminants may exist in untreated rainwater. All roofing material should be monitored for organic build up such as branches. thus filtering is necessary before diverting rainwater to a storage tank or cistern.6. many are diverted through the fine filter prior to entering the storage tank (see Filters) and are present in minimal amounts that do not affect water quality for nonpotable use. and animal excrement. disinfectants. leaves. The intention of this manual is to educate the Virginia and the United States population of the benefits and safety of utilizing rainwater.3 .) radionuclides [24].

thus saturating the water with oxygen. An angled overflow pipe can suction the film from the water surface (Fig. VA www. thus starving the water of healthy oxygen.gov/safewater/contaminantslindex. much like a fish tank. Some tanks are aerated through windmill aerators. Air vents in the tank also allow air movement into and out of the tank. based on annual rainfall amount and roof area (see Sizing a system).cabellbrandcenter. When these windmills are placed alongside rainwater tanks and either wind or electricity can move the windmill. Oxygenation Oxygen in the stored water ensures collected rainwater remains high in quality.Manual 2007 http://www. but homelbusiness owners should also keep roofs clear of large debris. Because organic material is also more likely to carry bacteria.epa. The bubbles provide aeration and prevent anaerobic conditions. causing air bubbles to enter the tank. Only four to six overflow events per year can remove this thin film. and bird excrement that reach water sources consume oxygen during decomposition. moss. Some filters are designed to oxygenate the water and provide continuous air flow to the storage tank (see Filters). Organic materials such as leaves. surface biofilms form reducing water quality and creating an offensive odor. 14). Tank size can be calculated to ensure overflow does occasionally occur. Floating organic materials in the tank can form a surface oil film that can prevent oxygen diffusion.org 24 . fine filters are necessary to eliminate such contaminants. Oxygen depletion can lead to anaerobic conditions. In anaerobic conditions. I Overflow Fig. 14: Biofilm and angled overflow pipe The Cabell Brand Center Salem.html can be referenced for further information regarding drinking water regulations and contaminants. Appropriately designed rainwater harvesting systems incorporate products that oxygenate the water to maintain water quality.

rain is pure water when falling from the sky. • Smooth: rainwater cleans the surface quickly. location to overhead trees and presence of animal excrements or remains. discuss the options with your rainwater harvesting design engineer. Contaminants are not present until rain falls on the roof surface. wastes water.Manual 2007 Treating potable water Treatment. Rainwater can be treated onsite to supply water for potable needs. no chemicals needed removes most contaminants kills most microbes. mexpensrve no odor or taste. • Conducts heat: prevents bacteria from growing [27].gov/safewater/standards. The table below describes the various methods available and their advantages and disadvantages. . does not kill all pathogens expensive. taste. Contaminants on roof surfaces depend on roofing material.html) [25]. VA www.26J Disadvantages odor.org 25 . Metal roofs are ideal for rainwater harvesting for the following reasons: • Impervious: rainwater runs off quickly. carcinogen. produces toxic by-products requires electricity likely to clog.cabellbrandcenter. is needed to bring drinking water to the federal standards that Virginia follows (http://www.epa. per federal guidelines. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. location to industrial plants. expensrve expensrve requires electricity Fig. When deciding on a water treatment system. Treatment is available in several forms. 15: Residential UV light potable water treatment Photo courtesy of Rainwater Management Solutions Factors affecting water quality In most areas. Table 2: Purification Options Treatment Chrlorine Ozonation Advantages . no chemicals needed Reverse osmosis Ultraviolet (UV) light [21.

The collected runoff is typically a brown color.org 26 . thus suitable only for landscape irrigation. a steeper roof also allows water to move more efficiently across the surface. it is only a trace amount that will not significantly affect the water quality [29]. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. the global market allows for availability even in the United States. zinc Sheet metal lead Tar shingles copper Terra cotta mold. Although aluminum roofing may release aluminum into the water. Some common brand roofs are Colorbond® and Zincalume®. This water is clear and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. algae.cabellbrandcenter.28-30J Aluminum is the best selection for rooftop rainwater harvesting. Although these roofing materials are more common in Australia. bacteria. bacteria. petroleum compounds. thus eliminating the system's water collection efficiency [30]. However.Manual 2007 The table below highlights the types of roofing material and the contaminants associated with each surface. Roofs with a pitch work best for rainwater harvesting. and only 10% to 20% of runoff is collected. cadmium. moss mold. Vegetated roof surfaces with a soil base absorb most of the water that falls on the roof. Wood wood preservatives [26. dust. gravel grit Aluminum aluminum Galvanized metal lead. as water is easily moved through gravitational force. moss. VA www. up to 30% of rainfall runoff from vegetated roofs with a gravel base is collected. Some international companies have designed roofing material specifically for potable rainwater harvesting. algae. moss. Table 3: Roofing material and associated contaminants Roofing Material Contaminants Asphalt Shingles mold. soot. Semi-porous roof surfaces like terra cotta and wood absorb some of the water. Since organic matter can build up between rain events. The roofing material is typically pre-painted zinc and aluminum coasted steel. algae. bacteria. thereby quickly cleaning the roof surface [31].

therefore.ft.62 (conversion) Example: Assuming the average VA rainfall: 45 inches Home: 2.500 sq.5 gallons/yr. based on rainfall and roof area.ft of roof area. We recommend that if potable water is available. Home/business owners can do these calculations on their own. Assume: 50 gallons/day 4 people in household 50 gallons/day x 4 people x 365 days = 73.62 gallons per sq.ft. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.org 27 x collection efficiency .262. but should consult a rainwater harvesting design engineer to determine tank size. x 0.95 = 66.Manual 2007 Sizing a System When sizing a system. average rainfall x roof area (sq.cabellbrandcenter.000 sq. irrigation) [32]. The average person uses 50 gallons of water per day for potable and non-potable uses. Therefore. roof area and system efficiency. several factors must be considered: • Rainfall amount • Roof area • Available room on lot • Water consumption (household size and needs) • Intended use (potable. 620 gallons is collected when a one inch rainfall falls on a 1. Now compare this number the household water usage. Firstflushfilter: 95% efficient 45 inches rain x 2. Calculations This section will detail how much water can actually be collected from a roof surface and how to determine what size tank is needed. depending on average rainfall.000 gallons/yr.ft.62 x 0. VA www.) x 0. One inch of rainfall collects 0. This would cover likely cover all nonpotable water demands. nonpotable. roof area.500 sq. which can add up to 80% of the water used in and around a home/business. the collected rainwater could supply 90% of the household's annual water demand.ft. The equation below calculates the yearly collectable amount of rainwater. rainwater should be used solely for nonpotable water uses.

a j 0 .. VA www. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.. orogen 31a!e Uni. Unlike the western United States.:'ure b!i' th9 ~Ri:SM {ilollp and O'\()~~n Clim>a1~ 3e!'\lice. ~h". Virginia's rainfall is dispersed more evenly throughout the year.2~ so MI!e=l ?~ 100 P'rr.ilPitation[.!iifi'ich!es} .Manual 2007 Virginia Rainfall Distribution Virginia annual rainfall amounts can be as little as 35 inches in the Northwest and as high as 60 inches in the Southwest mountains (Fig..S6-S<: !l~oM 11.D. Avelrag. depending on rainfall amount and roof size. Additional calculations are seldom needed.1000 lMorn M _ 54 - sa _ Map ~rlQht (c) :.sit!{. A N Fig.cabellbrandcenter. 16: Average Virginia annual precipitation Photo courtesy of Oregon Climate Service The tables below detail amounts of rainwater that can be harvested yearly on residential/commercial and industrial buildings.Sr:I _ 5~· 54 _ . Average rainfall throughout the state is 45 inches with the least rainfall falling in December through February (around 3 inches) and the most in July and August (around 4. 16).e. .Jo!Idl2 D..eeipiihUjol1l.org 28 .~-4!l i!.w..2 inches) [33]. assuming 95% collection efficiency (5% lost in the first flush).e Annual IPwec. 19Q11-2000 Vir-gini." '~8 _ ~~ .

500 55 32.000 rainfall catchment (gallons) Rainfall (inches) 35 21.479.000 5.000 87.900 88..950 60 35. based on your needs. ft.380 282.Manual 2007 Table 4: Residential/Commercial Roof size (sq.000 29 ~ The Cabell Brand Center Salem.000 5.000 5.951. ft.920 185.700 235.000 5.239..000 2.000 10.000 6.000 6.600 235.030 185.050 294.000 7.org .500 2.000 5.500 6.040 238.350 117.500 7.560 47.000 10.545 265.000 10.000 35 40 45 50 55 1.765 259. Table 6: Recommended tank size (gallons) Roof area sq.000 2.000 10.240 117.050 50 39.061..680 94.010 79.000 5.500 3.000 10.000 3...020 132.356.845 82.515 106.890.185 129.340 70.525 159. ft.945. = Q.000 10.400 Table 5: Industrial rainfall catchment (gallons) Rainfall (inches) Roof size 40 45 35 50 (sq.555 323.720 318.500 2.000 0 55 3.000 10.260 164.600 45 26.000 10.000 3. .000 300..305 164.580 161.000 10.184.500 60 3.020 141.150 40 23..000 10.000 8..534.000 9.920 188.301. Contact a rainwater harvesting design company to ensure your system is sized and designed appropriately and includes all necessary components.000 200.480 212.. This table is only a recommendation and should not be the sole source to guide system design...040 235.000 10..500 2.068.615 41.160 291. == .000 4.50 8.680 106.060 353.505 53.835.500 2.120 70.690 144.370 226.cabellbrandcenter.000 4.) 1.395 64.230 61.718.000 4.535 206. .000 4.000 3.800 141.650.535 212..800 147.790 97.000 5.000 2.000 5. ~ ~ ~ 1.712.450 58.500 2.. VA www.000 10.600 265.000 10.) 100.123.068.000 5.000 9.250 176.460 103.590 247.975 194.00 0 The table below categorizes the recommended tank size based on annual rainfall distribution and roof area.000 2.j . .360 176.000 5.000 10.000 10.075 123.602.000 7.700 220..

org 30 . but also further supports water conservation endeavors and saves water for future generations.5 gallons/minute 16 .1.Manual 2007 Indoor Water Conservation Today's appliances and irrigation components can save at least 30% of the daily water consumed. The following irrigation section will address outdoor conservation tools and approaches.5 gallons/load 2. VA www.7 gallonslflush Shower head 12 gallons/minute 27 . Utilizing water saving appliances will affect tank sizing as less water would be required for indoor use.20 gallons % Water Savings 53% 50% 68%. Only Ultralow flush toilets are now sold in the United States. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. These toilets can use as little as 1 gallon per flush or up to 1.85% 80% 25%-70% Utilizing water saving devices not only saves money.54 gallons Washing machine [34] Water saving style 7.cabellbrandcenter.6 gallonslflush 2.5 gallons/minute 1 .6 gallons per flush. Table 7 details water consumption differences for water saving appliances. Table 7: Water Saving Appliance Comparison Appliance Standard Dishwasher 16 gallons/load Faucet 5 gallons/ minute Toilet 5 .

Other US states have web sites that show real-time data concerning evapotranspiration data that help guide irrigation timing.55.000 sq. and last time irrigated.55 inches/month average summer ET 4. VA www. This website can be used when determining how much water is needed for irrigation purposes. Historical evapotranspiration data for select Virginia cities is available at the website: http://climate.154 gallons/acre = 1. but Virginia Tech is working to utilize current weatherstation data to supply evapotranspiration numbers online. based on plant type and water needs. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.org 31 . Fifty percent of that water can be lost to evaporation and runoff [36]. Some US states like Texas and Colorado provide real-time evapotranspiration data on a website.htm. thus canceling out the conservation and reduction in nonpoint source pollution benefits of rainwater harvesting. Virginia does not currently have an interactive website like this. The website then computes how many inches of water need to be supplied to replace the amount of water lost.virginia.05 acres x 27.154 gallons/acre Example: Charlottesville. Scheduling Ideally. Virginia. turfgrass area (5.31 inches/month average summer rainfall 2. Irrigators only need to access the website.Average monthly rainfall) x acres x 27.Manual 2007 Irrigation As much as 60% of urban and suburban water consumption is used as landscape irrigation [35].31 inches/acre) x 0. which is based on recent climatic conditions. This allows irrigators to apply only the amount of water lost from soil evaporation and plant transpiration back to the land. irrigation should be scheduled on evapotranspiration (soil evaporation and plant transpiration) data. Therefore. when coupling rainwater harvesting systems with irrigation. which is calculated through historical climate data.ft.This website details potential evapotranspiration. home/business owners should take extra steps to ensure the harvested rainwater is applied as efficiently as possible across the landscape.4. select the crop.684 gallons/month This equation is only an estimation of plant water needs. 5. Applying more water than needed can cause runoff and nonpoint source pollution. A rainwater harvesting or irrigation consultant company can determine more accurately the irrigation needs.edu/vapetprecdiff. Equation to determine water needed for irrigation in inches: (Monthly ET rate .cabellbrandcenter.

soil infiltration. Design system (type and output) to meet landscape (plant & soil) needs.org 32 . Install water conserving irrigation heads. Many commonly known horticultural The Cabell Brand Center Salem. The Virginia Rainwater Harvesting Manual stresses the importance of following these best management practices to ensure that the rainwater harvested is utilized efficiently and effectively when irrigating. plant needs.cabellbrandcenter. slope. Utilize alternative nonpotable water source when available. Large scale irrigation projects should be audited by a certified irrigation auditor to ensure system is applying water uniformly and efficiently. Installation & Maintenance • Hire a certified irrigation designer and contractor to design and install your irrigation system. Non-native and invasive plantings not adapted to the local climate often require extra water. • • • • Native Plants Including native plants in landscape design reduces irrigation demands. VA www. The following will summarize these findings in coordination with utilizing harvesting rainwater for irrigation purposes.htm). • • • • Application • • • Use drip/micro-irrigation or subsurface irrigation when applicable to reduce water loss through evaporation. The Irrigation Association has a detailed Best Management Practice publication available online at www. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and rainfall events. soil moisture. Double your efforts by hiring a WaterSense partner (http://www. whether for residential application or large-scale park application. while eliminating unnecessary runoff. Base irrigation timing on evapotranspiration rate and climatic conditions. Select system components that reduce runoff and maintain sprinkler irrigation below infiltration rate to ensure excess water is not applied.epa. Allow soil moisture to deplete fallow plants to wilt slightly before watering. Irrigate in the early morning when evaporation is low. and rainfall.gov/watersense/pplirrprof.Manual 2007 Water Conservation Tips All landscape irrigators should follow irrigation best management practices.pdf [37]. Ensure system is routinely maintained for uniform and efficient water application. and the need for supplemental irrigation is minimal. fertilizer and pesticides. Group plants with similar irrigation needs in the same irrigation zones. Use soak cycles to ensure appropriate water is applied.org/gov/pdf/IA BMP APRIL 200S.irrigation.

Table 8: Virginia Native Plants Herbaceous Plants Aster Dephinium Bleeding heart Iris Phlox Black eyed Susan Coneflower Lobelia Goldenrod [38-40J Trees & Shrubs Redbud Dogwood Sugar maple Sweetgum White oak Water oak Virginia pine Witch hazel Holly Azalea The Cabell Brand Center Salem.dcr.virginia.org 33 .org. VA www. visit DCR's website at www.gov/natural hertiage/nativeplants. To find local nurseries that sell Virginia native plants.shtml. visit the Virginia Native Plant society website at www.vnps.Manual 2007 plants are also Virginia native plants.cabellbrandcenter. Table 8 lists commonly known Virginia native plants. For complete listings.

gov/opa/admpress. National Resources Defense Council: New York.C. Garthwaite.. 2002 [cited 2005 June 7.2005]. Available from: http://www. in Geography. 2005 [cited 2005 July 7]. Clark. Crowley. DEQ. Available from: http://yosemite. 7. Soultanian. C. 9.. Census Bureau: Washington.2004. DEQ. State of Virginia's water resources: a report on Virginia's water sypply planning activities 2004. 2005.D. 2004.2005. 2007.. 2007. and C. 2006. Water price: the sleeping giant (Part J).. A. VA. p. 11. Neighborhood level analysis of rainwater catchment in Portland. Department of Environmental Quality: Richmond. A. OR. NY.org . cfmlid/3 600.epa. Status of Virginia's water resources: a report of Virginia's water supply planning activities 2005. 8. Available from: http://www. E. Status of Virginia's water resources: a report on Virginia's water supply planning activities 2003.Manual 2007 References 1. Earth Policy Institute.J. N. 2. 10.. Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Tanks can delay needfor salt water plan. VA www. Water prices rising worldwide. DEQ. Portland State University: Portland. state. et al. 6.at/templates/ printversion. 12. Water. Australia. World water cost survey. DCR. Code of Virginia: Virginia stormwater management act. U.cabellbrandcenter. Smith. Kloss.H.S. 2007. 4. Editor. EPA.nsf/e87e8bc7fdOcllf1852572a000650c05/a 21bca9f2361 dd94852572c200662e60! OpenDocument. Credit Suisse: New York. Water Bank. 53. 2007 [cited 2007 June 11]. 14. Senate OKs bill on rural water adequacy. Department of Environmental Quality: Richmond. NY. 5. Virginia QuickFacts.S. 2007.aguamedia. EPA. 2007. VA. D. OR. Calarusse. U. R.2006.waterbank. . Rooftops to rivers: Green strategies for controlling stormwater and combined sewer overflows. Department of Environmental Quality: Richmond. VA. 34 3. Stoner. Census. The Cabell Brand Center Salem..htmi. B.com/Newsletters/nwsI3. 13. Brisbane Times: Brisbane. Water News Online. environment groups promote "green infrastructure" solution to water pollution.

University of Warwick: Warwick. 2003. Germany.1. Available from: http://www. VA. et al. U. Texas Water Development Board. Hart. 2002. Normenausschus Wasserwesen: Berlin. J. P.comlrainwaterstorage. 21.cistern storage systems in southwest Virginia.Manual 2007 15.T. VA. 26. Johnson. Green building rating system: for new construction and major renovations Version 2. Best management practices for rainwater catchment systems in Alaska. 2006 [cited 2007 June 19]. U. Rainwater harvesting: comparing storage solutions.. The optimum sizing of gutters for domestic roofwater harvesting. Available from: http://www. 16. Evaluation of rooftop rainfall collection . 1998. Koenig.. EPA. Texas Water Development Board. Editor.. Pushard. Third edition. and D. Texas guide to rainwater harvesting second edition. 24. Thomas. Drinking water contaminants. Cold Climate Housing Research Center: Fairbanks. AK. 20. Collecting and utilizing rainfall runoff: a homeowner's manual of ideas for harvesting rainwater. LEED. 27. UK.org/LEED/Project/CertifiedProjectList.S. 2005: p. Still. 2001. Texas Water Development Board: Austin.org . D. Japan.html. 18.html. VA www. 29. 19. Green Building Council. Macomber. M. University of Hawaii: Manoa. DC. 35 17. 2005. TJSWCD..epa. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. operation and maintenance.usbgc.S.2007]. 23. EPA. C.shtml. LEED project lists 2007 [cited 2007 June 13. Texas Water Development Board. and T.epa. Ryan. Available from: www. Metal Roofing. 2006 [cited 2007 June 19].S. G. 2003: Kyoto City. Hawaii..H. Guidelines on rainwater catchment systems for Hawaii.harvesth20. Green Building Council: Washington. 25.2002. 38-39. Younos. Rain harvesting loves metal roofs.aspx. Ground water & drinking water. Virginia Water Resource and Research Center: Virginia Polytechnic and State University: Blacksburg. 2002.cabellbrandcenter. Deutsches Instititut fur Normung. Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District: Charlottesville. T.H. Rainwater harvesting: Public need or private pleasure?.W.gov/safewater/standards. Rainwater harvesting systems Part1: planning. Available from: www. The Texas manual on rainwater harvesting. TX. in World Water Forum. Certified project list: Virginia. 28. installation. K. White. 2007 [cited 2007 June 5].gov/safewater/contaminants/index. 1997. 22.

TX. Outdoor Water Use in the United States.edu/ description. 35. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.. in Drought Advisory. Harvest the rain. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. in Texas Watch.E. Virginia's Climate. 2007. DC. Hayden. 4-5. and R. Michaels.comiGreen-Home-Building/2003-0801/Harvest-Rainwater. DCR.motherearthnews. 2004. L.P. and G. 2006. VA www. 40. 2007. Mother Earth News. 33. 2003 [cited 2007 June 20].. 2000 [cited 2007 July 3]. Australia. Simmons. EPA. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Rainwater harvesting: a win-win option. Texas State University-San Marcos.aspx. Soward. Hermanson. Home water-saving methods. White. 2007. Gold Coast City Council: Gold Coast. 37.cabellbrandcenter. R. K. and treating rainwater for domestic indoor use. G. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Austin. Native plants: trees. and P. Brunt. in Water Management Committee of the Irrigation Association. storing. Environmental Protection Agency: Washington. Gold Coast City Council.Manual 2007 30. B. Washington State University Extension: Pullman. Harvesting. 36. Available from: http://climate. 2005. 2003.virginia. 34. 31.H. 38. Turf and Landscape Irrigation Best Management Practices. 39.org 36 . 2007. Irrigation Association. p. 32.J. DCR. in WaterSense. Shankle. 2007. DCR.C. Planning scheme policies policy 20: rainwater tanks. Available from: http://www. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.htm. Native plants: herbs. Geography Department. Native plants: shrubs. W A.R. in Gold Coast Planning Scheme.

Manual 2007 Virginia AppUcatiollJJ & Case Stllldies Many individuals and companies within Virginia have adopted rainwater harvesting practices for a variety of reasons.cabellbrandcenter. The following will cover examples of actual rainwater harvesting systems located throughout the Commonwealth. why rainwater harvesting was chosen.org 37 . The Cabell Brand Center Salem. and the benefits of utilizing rainwater harvesting on-site. VA www.

VA www. • Reduce environmental impact. Harvested rainwater was diverted to the pond.Manual 2007 Commercial Hospital New River Valley At this site. a detention pond was converted to a retention pond. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Site benefits: • Cost savings.cabellbrandcenter.org 38 . The pond water then supplied water for cooling towers and for irrigation. • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs.

Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs. The belowground 3. Promote environmental stewardship.400 gallon system is used for irrigating the grounds. With the demonstration tank.cabellbrandcenter. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. water conservation and environmental stewardship. Site • • • benefits: Education. VA www. The aboveground system serves as a demonstration tank for water conservation.Manual 2007 Nelson County Visitor's Center Nelson County Both above and belowground systems were installed on this site.org 39 . visitors can learn about rainwater harvesting.

cabellbrandcenter. • Reduce stormwater runoff in impervious city settings. The collected rainwater supplies water for flushing toilets in the building. Site benefits: • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs. ft. VA www. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.500 gallon storage tanks.org 40 .Manual 2007 Claude Moore Education Complex Roanoke This complex is equipped with siphonic roof drainage.000 sq. which directs rainwater that falls on the 12. roofto two nonpotable 2.

roof will direct water to four 30. Site benefits: • Reduce stormwater runoff on site located next to the Roanoke River.000 sq. The 250.000 gallon below ground tanks. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs. VA www.org 41 .cabellbrandcenter. • Promote green buildings and environmental stewardship. Collected rainwater will be used to wash inmates' clothing on-site. ft.Manual 2007 Western Regional Jail Roanoke County The first LEED certified jail to be completed late 2008.

• Conserve groundwater resources. There is still room for rainwater to fill the tanks and eliminate the need for well water.Manual 2007 Residential Hillsville The residential customer's well could not furnish water on a continual basis. the well serves as backup by partially filling the tanks with well water. VA www. The 5.cabellbrandcenter. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.000 gallon belowground rainwater storage system supplies the home with potable water. Should rainwater run out. Site benefits: • Reduce demand and reliance on well water.org 42 .

org 43 . • Reduce environmental impact. This was inadequate to provide an ample water supply for peak demand. providing the customer with a 2. who issued a potable water permit for the rain water harvesting system.cabellbrandcenter. Site benefits: • An additional well was not required. Six 400 gallon storage tanks were placed in the crawl space. The project was coordinated with local officials.400 gallon capacity of stored rain water. but produced only a halfgallon per minute. VA www. The harvested rain water was filtered and sterilized for potable use.Manual 2007 Roanoke County The home's original well went dry in 2001. A second well was drilled to a depth of 900 feet. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.

org 44 .cabellbrandcenter. • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs. • Conserve irrigation water. Site benefits: • Increase water application uniformity. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Subsurface irrigation was chosen over above ground irrigation for the turf area. Subsurface irrigation directs water to the roots and limits water loss to evaporation. The system is nonpotable and supplies subsurface irrigation.400 gallons of below ground storage (as seen in the heads on the hillside).Manual 2007 Charlottesville This system consists of 3. VA www.

Manual 2007 Crozet Below ground system includes 3. VA www. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.cabellbrandcenter. Site benefits: • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs.400 gallon tank. The residents at this site will use the collected rainwater for irrigation purposes.org 45 . • Cost savings.

• Cost savings.000 gallon aboveground storage capacity. the customer's water bill was reduced by 70%. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.org 46 . Site benefits: • Reduce potable water demand for nonpotable needs.cabellbrandcenter. Collected rainwater is filtered and treated for future potable use. Currently. VA www. the system is used for pool filling and irrigation. Upon installation and use.Manual 2007 Salem This residential system was installed with 20.

increasing the home's energy efficiency.org 47 . Site benefits: • Keep plants alive during drought. which is important for maintaining cooler temperatures around the house thus. VA www. • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs. The 500 gallon tank was used for topping off a small pond and irrigating a small garden area. The resident was then exempt from irrigation restrictions since irrigated water was not from municipal supplies. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.Manual 2007 Roanoke This nonpotable residential system was installed during a drought period.cabellbrandcenter.

org 48 .cabellbrandcenter.Manual 2007 Non-Profit Organization WhiteHall This site includes a 1. VA www. Site benefits: • Reduce potable demands for nonpotable needs. • Cost savings.500 gallon aboveground system. Collected water is filtered and treated for potable water use. The Cabell Brand Center Salem. Downspout filters filter water prior to entering the storage tanks. Collected and treated water is used in the greenhouse and adjoining staff spaces.

VA www.400 gallons of potable water storage capacity. Once rainfall starts again. • Conserve groundwater resources. When rainwater storage runs low. the system triggers for the well water to partially fill the tanks.org 49 . • Promote green buildings and environmental stewardship. Two 1. Site benefits: • Reduce demand/reliance on well water.Manual 2007 Afton Mountain This is the first pilot home under the USGB (US Green Building) residential building program.700 belowground tanks supply the home with 3. The home also has a well backup. the tanks fill with rainwater and the switch turns off the well water filling. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.cabellbrandcenter.

Site benefits: • Reduce potable water demands for nonpotable needs.400 gallon nonpotable storage capacity. VA www. Collected rainwater is used onsite for landscape irrigation purposes.cabellbrandcenter. • Promote environmental stewardship. • Reduce stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution. totalling 3.org 50 . Harvesting rainwater on this site is essential to protect the lake's integrity and reduce nonpoint source pollution resulting from rooftop stormwater runoff.Manual 2007 Franklin County This lake home is equipped with underground storage tanks. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.

Collected rainwater is diverted to a pasture watering troughs for farm animals.OOO-gallonstorage system was installed to collect the bam runoff. some of the cattle were developing hoof rot. the area around the bam was extremely wet from run off and cattle waste.Manual 2007 Agricultural Rockingham County At this site.cabellbrandcenter. As a result. Site benefits: • Reduce rooftop runoff and eliminate potential nonpoint source pollution. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.org 51 . there existed no water outlets near the building for watering. • Provide farm animals with safe drinking. VA www. Also. A S.

pasture watering coolers. The Cabell Brand Center Salem.100 gallons underground storage system was installed to supply potable water needs. Harvested rainwater is filtered and treated prior to use by farmhands in the living quarters. The owners noted the horses' soft coat after bathing in rainwater.cabellbrandcenter.Manual 2007 Charlottesville A total of 5. VA www. When rainwater levels run out. and for bathing horses. Upon rainfall. water well is triggered to partially fill the storage tanks. • Protect groundwater resources. rainwater further fills up the tanks. Water is also directed for use in the stables. Site benefits: • Reduce demand/reliance on groundwater sources. • Supply farm animals with safe drinking water.org 52 . A well serves as a backup water supply.

epa.com www.gov www.Manual 2007 Links Water/Environment Virginia Chesapeake Bay Foundation The Nature Conservancy in Virginia Virginia Environmental Endowment Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Virginia Native Plant Society http://www.org/wherewework/ northamerica/ states/virginia/ www.de The Cabell Brand Center Salem.nature.wateruseitwisely.org 53 .shtml Engineering/Products Jay R.cbf.com www.com www.wisy.comlindex.nature.org www.org http://www.htm www. VA www.virginia.usgbc.rainwatermanagement. USBGC LEED certification Rainwater Management Solutions Wisy AG www.org Water/Environment National EPA Water Sense Harvest H20 The Nature Conservancy Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Water Use it Wisely www. Smith Mfg.org www.virginia.vnps.dcr.gov www.dcr.harvesth20.vee. Co.gov/watersense/pubs/outdoor.jayrsmith.cabellbrandcenter.org/LEED/ www.

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