Rainwater systems can be as simple as placing a rain barrel beneath a downspout or they can be complex – engineered multi-tank systems with pumping stations and automated computer controls for supplying commercial and industrial process applications. Consider that in one installation in the Sumo arena in Japan, rainwater is supplied for flushing toilets and the cistern’s excess storage capacity is used for urban stormwater detention during heavy rains.
Design Made Easy in FOUR STEPS!
There are many factors to consider when designing rainwater systems. Although there are exceptions, most rainwater systems are designed with four basic functions in mind: Storage, Filtration, Distribution, and Treatment.
STEP ONE – Storage
Rainwater must be collected and stored before it can be used. As project designer, you have several factors to consider before selecting which storage tank is best for your project. Take a moment to visit our Storage Tanks/Cisterns page for more detailed descriptions about our water storage systems. You’ll also find information in the FAQ section of our website. We provide a list of questions and answers you’ll want to consider about water storage. After you have decided between above ground vs. below ground storage you’re ready for Step Two.
STEP TWO – Filtration
We recommend that, whether the system is simple or complex, rainwater should be filtered before entering storage. The goal is to prevent unwanted trash like leaves, twigs, and dirt from entering your storage tank. Filtration is important because filter maintenance is cheaper and therefore more desirable than storage maintenance (i.e. less debris in equals less time and money spent cleaning out a storage tank later on). Remember the saying “Garbage In; Garbage Out!” For more information, visit our Rainwater Filtration page.
STEP THREE – Distribution
Once water is collected in a storage tank, it must be delivered to its intended use area. Distribution can be achieved by gravity or pressurized pumping. Because BRAE works with large commercial projects and large residential projects that require water to be delivered over long distances and/or at high pressures, we recommend pressurized pumping systems for water distribution. This ensures rainwater systems have water pressures equivalent to city water systems or better. Visit BRAE’s list of Pump Systems and decide which one is right for your application.
STEP FOUR – Treatment
Whether rainwater is collected to be used for Potable (Drinking) or Non-Potable (Not for Drinking) applications, we cannot be 100% sure what is in the rainwater because the environment around us is always changing. Therefore, water quality is critical factor in rainwater systems. Because we cannot be sure, BRAE recommends including additional filtration and disinfection technologies to eliminate the potential for problems related to water quality. By visiting the Water Treatment page, you can learn more about filtration and disinfection products available through BRAE.