Three Simple Yet Effective Rain Water Harvesting Methods
Let’s face it, life is not perfect and in fact, at times it can be pretty harsh and cruel, and unfortunately, that means that disaster can potentially strike at any time.
These disasters in question could come in a variety of different forms, including: Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemic, economical collapse, rioting and martial law, and much more beside.
As the saying goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and in the event of an emergency or natural disaster of any kind, wouldn't you want to do all you can to ensure that you and your loved ones are well prepared and well looked after?
Water for example, is an extremely essential commodity that many of us take for granted.
In the event of a natural disaster, or even if you find yourself alone in the wild for that matter, you will need a sustainable supply of clean and fresh drinking water, which is where rain water harvesting methods come into the mix.
Here’s a look at three simple, yet highly effective rain water harvesting methods.
Old guttering, pipes, groundsheets or tarps -
It doesn't matter whether you're in an urban environment, out on the trail, in the wilderness, by the coast, or anywhere else for that matter, you will still need fresh drinking water as soon as you possibly can.
One of the simplest yet most effective rain water harvesting methods you could ever think of, is to basically use a stretched out tarp or some old guttering or pipes to harvest any rain water.
Basically you will set up old guttering or pipes close to your camp or where you've hunkered down, and will use them to collect the rain.
A top tip is to set them up in trees and bushes as the leaves and foliage will help to allow even more rain down your guttering system.
From here you basically angle the pipes into a storage container of some sort, and hey presto.
Collecting your water can be as simple as this!
Just some guttering and a catchment area, in this case, an old oil drum.
Obviously some good filtration would be needed after collection in order to ensure clean, safe drinking water, but for 'grey water' usage this method is perfectly fine.
Safe for flushing toilets and watering the garden.
Catchment areas –
Basically, catchment areas are specially designed vessels which can be placed either on rooftops, or on the ground, that are used to catch and store rain water.
Many catchment areas on rooftops for example, will make use of guttering systems like we looked at previously, and will allow rain water to flow down the pipes and be collected in specially designed vessels.
- With roof catchment areas however, you need to be wary of the roofing material in question.
For example, lead or metallic painted roofs are not recommended as they can leak contaminants into the rain water.
The standard water butt is your first choice and this one is probably one of the smallest size of catchment area for sensible rain water harvesting at 230L capacity.
However, this type of water butt only costs around £50 and represents good value for money.
Definitely more than one will be needed - ideally four butts coupled up together giving you just under a massive 1000 litres for £200 is well worth considering
See full range of water butts here.
With nearly double the capacity of the water butt above, this is a slimline, heavy duty catchment area giving you 525L of water storage.
The price you will pay is significantly higher though, at around £235. But you are getting a high grade product.
If space is a concern, then this type is worth looking at as it will sit close to a wall measuring, 1100cm high x 85cm wide x 65cm deep.
Pre filtering and catchment -
Being able to capture your rain water easily is essential. A pre filter is also a good idea to have 'in-line' that intercepts any large debris or rodents!
You will still have to treat the water to get safe, drinkable water, but by adding the pre filter you can at least get rid of some of the big stuff.
This type of catchment method will attach to round or square downpipes and do the first stage filtering for you.
Not too expensive at around £30 but very effective at providing a directed water feed into your catchment water butts.
Basic collection and storage devices –
If you really find yourself away from civilisation and lacking resources, sometimes you may literally find yourself in a survival situation in which you will need to make do with whichever resources you can find.
In these events, basic storage and collection devices such as empty bottles or containers will work just fine and can actually provide you with a selection of pretty effective rain water harvesting methods.
If you are looking to use empty plastic bottles to store your water, it’s recommended that you use a knife or sharp implement, and remove the narrow top of the bottle to help open it up and increase the storage capacity.
By doing this, you make the opening larger and therefore allow more rain water to make its way inside.
If you have, or can find, multiple bottles or similar containers, set them up strategically and use leaves and foliage as a form of guttering system to allow more rain inside. The more you set up, the more rain water you’ll be able to harvest.
If you are harvesting rain water in this way, make sure that you secure your bottles firmly into the ground as the last thing you want is them falling over when they get too full, or being knocked over by animals perhaps.
Try digging a shallow hole and half burying the bottle and then firmly packing the soil around the edges to help hold your bottles firmly in place.
To get the most from any type of rain collection method
you have to try and catch as much rain as possible.
Just about anything will do - a tarp, sheet, raincoat, groundsheet, bin liner, plastic bag... Anything to give a larger catchment area.
So, by using as big a catchment area as you can find and then funnelling that rain water towards your containers will give very fast results.
A 2,000 sq. ft roof is only 20' x 100', (6m x 30m) and if you have a pitched roof with two sides, it only has to be 20' x 50' (3m x 15m)
With only 1" (25mm) of rain you're going to be able to collect 1,250 gallons of water - that's over 5500 litres...!
If you have a house with no gutters to direct the rainfall, there's always different rain water harvesting methods that will work just as well.
Building your own system is one of them.
This wooden guttering trough makes perfect sense - especially as it can now be positioned anywhere in your back garden:
Never neglect straightforward survival methods - these rain water harvesting methods will definitely increase your chances of survival in a SHTF situation.
Don't get caught out - get prepared first.
Want to know more? Checkout all my water related articles here.
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