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. There are various ways of harvesting rainwater with rooftop water harvesting being the most common way. 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. Rainwater harvesting helps reduce the cost of purchasing water for various uses as well as promoting environmental conservation. Rainwater is usually collected from the rooftop using gutters into a given collection point.
Rainwater harvested is usually stored in rainwater tanks which are made of various types of materials. The various materials used in the making of the rainwater tanks includes 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. Plastics tanks are highly preferred to other types of tanks, but they are less durable as compared to concrete water tanks. Tanks used in rainwater harvesting are either placed on the ground surface or can be placed underground. Removing water from underground rainwater tanks is only through pumping it to an aboveground tank so as to use it since valves or taps cannot be fitted.
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. Plastic rainwater tanks are more preferred since they are readily available and come in different sizes according to one's specification. Plastic tanks are highly affected be algae hence should be placed on a concrete surface which keeps away the algae. The plastic rainwater tanks if possible should be placed in a place where they are not exposed to the solar since they a greatly affected by solar radiation which reduces their durability. Rainwater tanks made from other materials can contain contaminated water unfit for human use hence safety measures should be put in place when using them.
Rainwater collected from rooftops for human consumption should always be sterilized through various means. This is because there are so many contaminants that settle on the rooftop and ones it rains they usually find themselves into the water. Chlorination and filtration are some of the ways of removing contaminants. The most used method in sterilizing water is chlorination since it is quite effective and also affordable. When harvesting rainwater from rooftops, it is important to ensure that the water is not collected immediately during the first rain to prevent a lot of contaminants from getting into the water with had settled on the rooftop.