We use the phrases rainwater harvesting, rainwater utilization, and rainwater collection to describe the process of collecting and using rainwater as an alternative or supplemental water source. Rainwater harvesting is typically restricted to non-potable (Not for Drinking) applications like: landscape irrigation, vehicle washing, toilet flushing, laundry, cleaning and custodial services, process water, and chiller makeup supply. Because of its ability to use existing structures and technologies, rainwater harvesting offers many advantages and has fewer negative environmental impacts compared to other technologies for water resource development.
Why Rainwater Harvesting?
When you ask why we bother collecting rainwater you first have to consider how much rainwater is available but goes unused.
As much as 60,000 gallons of precipitation falls on a 2,000 square foot roof in Mid-Atlantic States each year. By multiplying this amount by just 100 homes in a single neighborhood we could easily conserve 6,000,000 gallons annually. How many neighbors do you have? Do the math!
BRAE distributes Complete Rainwater Harvesting Systems capable of putting this water to beneficial use. With active BRAE systems currently conserving millions of gallons annually, BRAE systems are offsetting demands on municipal and private water supplies while conserving valuable drinking water resources.
In addition to the advantage that rainwater is free of charge and that it doesn’t have to be treated nor transported over long distances; the two most important arguments supporting the utilization of rainwater are:
1. Supplement drinking water resources
- with the benefit of saving precious potable water
2. Protecting water quality by reducing impacts of stormwater runoff
- with the benefit of limiting flooding and degradation of streams and lakes
Benefits to the User of Rainwater Harvesting
- Enjoy higher quality of water for gardens, irrigation and car washing because of absence of dissolved minerals, salts, and ground contaminants.
- Save money on lower water and wastewater bills. Enjoy cost savings by using less soaps and detergents. Eliminate the need for water softeners because rainwater typically has a very low hardness level.
- Ensure the reliability of your water supply during periods of high demand and during droughts. At such times, communities implement water conservation programs to discourage wasteful water use and restrict non-essential water uses like automobile washing and landscape irrigation.