Collecting of rainwater during the rainy season is important in providing water for agricultural use, domestic and household uses and also for commercial and industrial uses. Rooftop water harvesting is the commonest rainwater harvesting practice. The major rainwater harvesting benefit is provision of water for later use when there is water scarcity or contaminated water and helps individuals enhance their water self-sufficiency. Economic enhancement, as well as environmental conservation, is greatly enhance by rainwater harvesting. Gutters are important in rainwater harvesting as they collect the rainwater and direct it to a collection point.
Rainwater harvested is usually stored in rainwater tanks which are made of various types of materials. Rainwater tanks can be made of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminum metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction. The type of material used in making the rainwater tank usually depends on the durability as well as the affordability of the materials. Concrete rainwater tanks are usually more durable than the other tanks although rainwater tanks more preferred are those made of plastic materials. Tanks used in rainwater harvesting are either placed on the ground surface or can be placed underground. It is a little hard to fit underground rainwater tanks with taps or valve, so water has to be pumped from the tanks so as to use it.
Covering of the rainwater tanks is important leaving only the entry point for the water pipe so as to avoid entry of unwanted materials into the rainwater tank such as leaves or even animals. Preference for plastic tanks is because of their ease of availability and also come in different shapes and volumes. Plastic rainwater tanks should be placed on a concrete surface so as to avoid algae growth. Plastics rainwater tanks have reduced durability when exposed to solar radiation hence should be placed where there is no direct solar. Other materials using in making rainwater tanks have their shortcoming mostly in releasing contaminants to the harvested water hence safety precaution measures should be put in place to minimize contamination.
Rainwater collected from rooftops for human consumption should always be sterilized through various means. Loads of contaminants usually find their way into harvested rainwater since most of them are usually on the rooftops after being deposited there. Chlorination and filtration are some of the ways of removing contaminants. Preferred method is usually chlorination since it is affordable and also effective in water sterilization. Loads of contaminants usually settle on the rooftop hence it is important to ensure that water is not harvested during the first rain so that the contaminants cannot find their way into the rainwater tank.