One of our past clients asked us if his company, Conservation Kingdom, could create a series of videos that show the installation of a complete rainwater harvesting system. Since there are many videos online that show small installations with rain barrels and such, we wanted to produce a video that showed the installation of a larger system that would be used for potable water supply. Smaller systems are great for urban lots, but when you are depending on this to supply your household’s drinking water, you want to make sure that you are collecting from every square inch of your roof and that you have large enough cistern to store rainwater to last the long, dry summers here in Texas.
More and more, people in Texas who purchase land to build their dream home in areas where there is no municipal water supply, are electing to install rainwater harvesting systems to supply their household with water. Rather than drilling a well and ending up with a well with a low flow rate and/or bad water quality, rainwater collection systems provide a pristine water source with very minimum maintenance. Reliability is something to be concerned with since you need it to rain in order to have water in the cistern, but with careful planning, we can design a system that can “weather” (pun intended) a long drought periods.
Part 1 of the videos shows the hard work that goes into installing a large collection system. You can see the difficult task of rock sawing the trenches for the collection pipes.
The water catchment system shown in these videos capture rainwater from approximately 2,800 square feet. This will provide 1,750 gallons of rainwater per inch of rainfall. During an average year of rainfall in central Texas, the system has the capability to harvest 54,250 gallons of rainwater. The cistern that we installed has a total capacity of 13,000 gallons. It is 18′ diameter, 7’3″ tall at the eave, and 12’6″ tall at the peak. The collection pipe system consisted of a “wet” system that collects from 7 downspouts and has 250′ of total underground piping. The videos don’t some of the system components such as the first-flush system and the pump system which includes the filtration and disinfection system, but I think you can get a lot of information from these videos.
Part 2 shows the majority of steps in constructing a corrugated metal cistern that we commonly use for potable water systems.
You can check out more videos at the IWS Youtube Channel and subscribe to our video updates. We also have a ton of other rainwater harvesting and water conservation media resources on our website.