3 effective ways of using rainwater

VII International Student Scientific Conference Student Scientific Forum – 2015

Rain washing – as an additional source of water resources and their rational use

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Currently, the ecological balance of the “nature-human” system is disturbed by excessive, unrestricted human activities. The state of the environment in the city has reached such a level that all components of the natural complex are suppressed and are constantly subjected to negative anthropogenic impacts. The problem of deterioration of water resources (surface and ground waters) is also acute. One of the sources of pollution is stormwater runoff.

Rainwater is atmospheric precipitation, which then forms surface drains. They collect all the dirt, dust, debris from the streets, playgrounds and roofs, saturated with heavy metals and chemicals; then they are diverted to rainwater collectors, through them the rainwater enters the treatment facilities, where it is treated and then discharged into the natural environment [1]. For complete water purification huge areas are required for storage tanks for the accumulation of sediments, the construction and maintenance of which is costly.

It should be noted that all rainwater does not flow into the collectors. The rainwater drainage system is overloaded due to periodic heavy rains. The poor condition and frequent fouling of the grates and tubs of the system also causes rainwater to infiltrate into the sewers. Water stagnates and puddles form, affecting building foundations as well as making it difficult for pedestrians to walk. Rainwater also seeps into the ground, then into the groundwater and then into small rivers and bodies of water. All of this speaks to the negative impact rainwater has on the city and the environment.

However, with the right approach, rainwater can not become a source of pollution, and is an additional water resource. The trend of energy conservation and rational use of natural resources is now popular everywhere. Rainwater is exactly the source that can solve the problems of energy conservation, because it is primarily a question of collecting rainwater and using a small amount of treatment for the needs of the population. Where exactly can this resource be used?

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First, for municipal needs for buildings. Purified rainwater is used to maintain the life of apartments (for bathrooms) This requires a special type of building, which has been carefully designed. Now more and more buildings are being constructed with the obligatory technology of water recirculation. One example is the Olympic Village buildings in Vancouver. Rainwater is collected from the roof and drained into cisterns in the basement. Here it is stored and then used for bathing and irrigation, which reduces the total water demand by 40%.2 In 2006 architect Norman Foster created the Hearst Tower, a unique building with an unusual design in which rainwater is also collected and used (accounting for 50% of the skyscraper’s water consumption) [3].

Rainwater can be used in recreational facilities. Pre-treated water can become an ornamental stream or a system of small watering ponds. Rainwater is also collected and used to water plants. A special water garden was created near the new Yale University building, which collects stormwater from the building roof in addition to its aesthetic function – it goes for aquatic plants and soil moistening, and the water filtered by the plants goes for general building needs [4 ].

Figure 1: Diagram of water circulation in the water garden at Yale University [5].

Also in April 2013 a new building of the University of Law in Baltimore (Maryland, USA) was built, where stormwater is used not only for bathrooms, but also water for a decorative waterfall and canal in the back of the building [5] .

Figure 2: Using rainwater to create a decorative waterfall, cascade and canal near the University Law Building in Baltimore City [5].

Rainwater backup systems are also used in the private sector (for irrigation systems, washing machines, toilet cisterns, sinks), service sectors (hotels, shopping and entertainment complexes, car service), airports on tapes, industry (for technological processes for fire systems, etc.

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All these methods allow to reduce the expenditures of the municipal district budget and save natural resources. Therefore, the rational use of rainwater and stormwater runoff is a promising direction. However, it is necessary to create a methodology for efficient and fast water treatment methods.

List of references

Alekseev M.I. Assessment of pollution of rainwater runoff and the choice of rational treatment technologies / M.I. Alekseev, V.P. Verkhoturov, O.M. Ilyina // Izvestiya vuzov. Ser. “Construction. 2003. – No … -aus. 103-108

Rainwater utilization – 3 simple methods

Using rainwater is a process that few people pay attention to. Drinking water is not only expensive but also valuable. About 45% of the drinking water you consume can be replenished with rainwater. We will tell you how to do this.

Rainwater harvesting

Statistically speaking, each person consumes about 121 liters of water per day. Considering the size of our planet’s population, that is a lot. Hardly anyone thinks about how much water he flushes down the drain every day. But they do. Very little of this water is used for drinking and cooking.

According to statistics, most of the water, namely 36 percent, is used for personal hygiene is the bathtub and shower. Then 27 percent is flushed down the toilet. In the garden, 6 percent of water is used for cleaning and car maintenance. And only 4 percent of the water goes to cooking and drinking.

As you know, most drinking water can be saved a little bit. In doing so, you can not only save money in your own wallet, but also benefit nature.

Use Rainwater – 3 Ways

Natural rainwater harvesting is a promising and very interesting topic. Rainwater can be used not only in everyday life.

Using it in the garden

Even if watering in the garden is only about 6 percent of your daily water consumption, it is still one of the easiest ways to use rainwater in everyday life. Imagine watering your entire garden with drinking water? That’s not only consuming a lot of drinking water, but also a significant amount of money.

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Rainwater in the garden

This can easily be avoided by installing rain barrels or water tanks. Standard rainwater barrels often have a filling capacity of 100 to 300 liters. That’s enough to fill them – assuming it rains regularly.

However, if you have a large garden plot, water tanks are a better alternative. They have a capacity of 1,000 liters. Their disadvantage is that they do not look very attractive and require space for placement in the garden.

The water tank can be fenced in with different materials, such as wood (a wooden slope appears), covered with stones or bamboo mats.

By the way: rainwater can be used not only for water systems, but also for all indoor plants. Rainwater is said to be better for plants because it is not as heavy as tap water.


Garden tools, toys, floors and windows – there is always something to clean or wash. Most use drinking water from the tap. Few use rainwater. Why? Rainwater has the advantage over tap water of being soft and leaving no lime residue.

Cleaning in the garden

Today, more and more cars are being washed with rainwater. Why? Tap water removes polish from the car body and leaves behind lime residue. At the same time, using rainwater saves money on a job as complicated and expensive as polishing.

Using high pressure to remove dirt on paving stones or other surfaces is very popular. Rainwater can also be used for this purpose here.

Washing Machine.

Washing in the garden

Rainwater can also be used in washing machines. Many people doubt the hygiene of this procedure, while the quality is much better than many people think.

As mentioned above, rainwater contains no lime. This means that the water in the washing machine can become too soft.

Another advantage is that the heating elements are not coated with lime, which means that along with saving drinking water, energy is also saved.

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Tests have been done on washing with rainwater, where you summarize that you can save about 60% of the detergent when washing with rainwater. Is that a bad thing?

It’s also important that rainwater is also a rainwater collection system. Rainwater should be stored in a dark and cool place to keep bacteria from forming.


If you follow the above methods, you can already make a significant contribution to reducing your daily drinking water consumption. All of the options can be relatively easy to implement in a new project or when renovating an old one.

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