Rainwater harvesting (RWH) has been practiced for thousands of years by civilizations throughout the world. Today, it is enjoying renewed interest and frequently being used in green building applications such as the net zero and positive energy custom homes built by Sustainable Homes, Inc. of Texas. Our homes are designed and built to rely on RWH as their only source of water. In our experience, a properly designed, professionally installed, and well-maintained system can supply the home with quality water that is far superior to the quality of most city-supplied water. As sustainable construction specialists, we know that the key to an efficient domestic RWH system is proper maintenance, so our systems are designed with simplified maintenance in mind.
There are many other factors and variables that we take into account in order to ensure that our RWH systems will consistently perform beyond expectations, including:
The size of the collection area on your property will dictate the amount of usable water from the system. Typically, the area includes the square footage area of all of the roof surfaces, encompassing the house, garage, covered porches, etc.
Gutters & Leaves
Owners are encouraged to clean the one-piece aluminum gutters we install a minimum of two to three times per year. The need for leaf screens is determined site-by-site.
Storage Tank or Cistern
The size of the storage tank needed is based on several factors, such as the number of people living in the house, the size of the collection area, the annual amount of rainfall in the area, and the usual length of time between rain events.
Filters and Ultra-Violet Light
Before being routed into the home for domestic use, water goes through a 50 micron filter and a 5 micron charcoal filter before being exposed to an ultra-violet light. This UV-exposure stage is not an option in our opinion, because it displaces any remaining bacteria.
As another key component of our maintenance plan, we educate our owners to keep track of their water usage and to adjust that usage if necessary, in addition to keeping a record of annual water usage.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration in order for a RWH system to function as it should. You can rely with confidence on our demonstrated expertise with these complex systems as well as our ability to seamlessly integrate them into our zero net and negative energy custom homes.