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Friday, October 4, 2013

Rainwater Harvesting: What is a Dry System?

There are a few types of Rainwater Harvesting Systems. I expect that there will be more variations as we learn more in the future. In a nutshell, a Dry Harvesting System takes water from one downspout on a partial roof area of the catchment surface. A catchment surface is most often a roof. It can be any type of roof: on a home, on a barn, an area over a bench to shield from water. Any surface that can be guttered can effectively harvest rainwater.

A Dry system is so named because no water stands in the pipes except for the First Flush Diverter which empties within 24 to 48 hours. All the water collected goes into the cistern or tank. If the tank is not large enough to hold all the rainwater collected, then the overflow diverts water to a pre-designed area for the runoff. This allows for a more orderly use for the rainwater and overflow. If you have drainage issues, collecting rainwater and designing the system properly can alleviate many of those issues.

Systems can be designed with the purpose of adding additional storage at a later date, however it is far more economical to attempt to estimate how much water you can collect over a period of time and purchase the most storage at that time. It is far cheaper per gallon to design the system that way from the initial install than add on at a later date. Adding on later can cost more depending on several factors, the first of which being inflation. However it is a viable option for those wishing to spend less now and still capture rainwater.

A Dry system is the simplest system to install. Many homeowners simply install a rainbarrel. These are great to have, however since an inch of rain on a 1000 sq ft roof yields 623 gallons of water approximately, a typical rainbarrel will overflow in a hurry.

A system, custom designed to fit your needs is a great alternative. Our systems are designed in such a way that there is no issue with mosquitos since the pipe flows directly into the tank. We listen to what you want and design a system that meets your unique needs. Rainwater harvesting systems can be beautiful and efficient. Contact us today to start your custom design.

Questions and comments are welcome below.