Rainwater Harvesting And Reuse 101
By Dennis F. Hallahan, P.E., Infiltrator Systems Inc.
Environmental trends come and go, but one that seems to be taking hold is the surprisingly simple practice of rainwater collection for harvesting and reuse and rainwater gardens for aquifer recharge. The challenge with impervious surfaces in nearly any development including roofs, roadways, paved paths, and driveways is dealing with the volume of runoff they create. These can increase runoff up to 300 percent in some residential and suburban developments. In urban and commercial developments, the increase in stormwater runoff can be as much as 1000 percent. Fortunately there are potential benefits; this concentrated water can be collected and stored for multiple uses.
Wikipedia has defined Rainwater Harvesting as “the accumulating and storing, of rainwater for reuse, before it reaches the aquifer.” Rainwater harvesting has many uses such as providing water for drinking (potable water) and non-potable uses such as irrigation of lawns, landscape, golf courses, gardens, toilet flushing, car and equipment washing and livestock operations.