Trying to do everything you can to save the planet can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but it’s worth it. Thankfully leading a zero-waste lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint aren’t as difficult as they used to be. One thing that many people have trouble with is trying to gain access to clean zero-energy water easily. Here’s what you need to do if you want to harvest rainwater at home with no problems.
What Exactly Is Zero Energy Water, And Why Is It Difficult?
Water running in your faucets needs a lot of energy to reach you home, so the alternative is to collect your own rainwater. This is usually done in rain barrels that collect coarsely filtered rainwater from your gutters. The problem is that when these barrels overflow, you risk damaging the foundations of your home. To avoid this risk, all you need to do is install the best downspout diverter for rain barrel systems. This is usually a closed system in which any overflow from rain barrels can be redirected into the gutters so it can either go to the drain or back into the rain barrels if possible.
Although rainwater is not potable, you still need to take steps to avoid it getting a tell-tale stagnant stench. Also, when water is left undisturbed for a long time (like it would be when kept in rain barrels) mosquitos and other insects tend to lay their eggs in it. To avoid smelly infested water, you should keep it moving. A water filtration (like that of a hot tub or a swimming pool) would work well to keep the rainwater from getting swampy. You don’t need to run it constantly, but run it at least twice a week for the best results. Another thing you could do is to add a chlorine bleach solution to the water periodically (follow instructions on the packaging) to disinfect your harvested water and kill any algae and larvae.
How To Make Harvested Rainwater Potable
As we’ve previously mentioned, the rainwater you collect is not suitable for drinking. You can use a variety of ways to make it potable, the simplest being gravity filters (the ones in a pitcher). You can also run the water through a reverse osmosis filter, or use a UV light on the water. Basically, any method that you can make non-potable water is applicable here. If you are concerned with drinking water that has been chlorinated, then do not add bleach. Instead, installing a UV light in your rain barrels can disinfect the water while it is being collected. Keep in mind that if you live in an area that has very soft rain, it’s best to use a more heavy duty water filtration system before drinking it.
Rainwater collection is not as hard as it sounds. It involves very little effort, but makes a significant impact on your carbon footprint. We can all do our best to save the planet if we start now.