The Stormwater Blog 

Contech Stormwater experts discussing Low Impact Development, Onsite Water Management, Rainwater Harvesting and all things Stormwater.


Rainwater Harvesting


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Did My Rainwater Harvesting System Just Text Me?
As rainwater harvesting is becoming a more popular choice for stormwater management and runoff reduction, additional features are becoming available to allow for monitoring, report generation, and managing systems from a website interface.

 

 

Rainwater Harvesting and Make Up Water: The Why, When, and How

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) stores rainwater for reuse to supply non-potable uses like irrigation, wash water, toilet flushing, and laundry.  During long dry periods the demand will drain the storage cistern down to a critical level where the pressurization pump(s) will need to shut down to prevent dry run damage.  Make up water is typically a potable connection to the rainwater harvesting system to supply water, allowing the RWH system to continue to supply the non-potable end use applications until the next storm event refills the storage cistern.

Bioretention Part Three: Lessons Being  Learned – Siting Issues and Inlet Design

Not done with siting issues yet, maybe this becomes five parts? One issue on siting and design is the hydraulic grade lines. Recall from your road drainage days the equations that were used to space catch pits and throat openings? The equations allowed for you to estimate gutter efficiency and top width for specified design storms. Well, these equations still apply, and I am thinking maybe even more considerations for very low flows.

Rainwater Harvesting Filters Explained
Most people do not think about how they get the water they use; they just turn on the tap and the water is there. The same holds true for rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. Most people understand there is a cistern that collects and holds the harvested water. But what they may not realize is that with every large scale RWH system there is a mechanical system that pumps, filters, and treats the harvested water before it can be reused.
Rainwater Harvesting Disinfection Methods: Treat It Before You Use It
Using harvested rainwater is not new, it has been in practice for thousands of years (3000 B.C., and may be even earlier).  But we have something that wasn’t available back then; the ability to disinfect rainwater to make it safe for human contact or ingestion.  Harvested rainwater can be safely used outdoors and indoors if the correct steps are taken to treat it. The type of disinfection depends on how the water is going to be used and the requirements of local plumbing codes.  With modern disinfection, rainwater can even be filtered and disinfected to potable standards.
Stormwater in the west: Use it or lose it!

At about 2.5% of the total water volume on the planet, we’ve always had roughly the same amount of freshwater. Unfortunately, it seems that, at the local level, the amount of fresh water made available through precipitation is increasingly erratic, with the last year featuring historic floods in the eastern US and historic drought in the west. In my adopted home state of California, 2013 was officially the driest year on record and snowpack, groundwater and reservoir levels throughout the state are critically low. Although we’ve undertaken extensive engineering feats in the form of reservoirs, diversions and water supply pipelines, local water management decisions provide our greatest leverage on local water supply.

Three Maintenance Tips For Your Rainwater Harvesting Cistern
All stormwater systems need to be maintained to continue operating effectively, and rainwater harvesting (RWH) is no exception. Unfortunately, many owners do not care that their stormwater BMP is not functioning due to lack of maintenance. Maintenance of RWS systems is critical for owners that depend on their continued operation and associated utility savings. Proper maintenance of a RWH cistern helps protect water quality and ensure system performance.
Four Rainwater Harvesting Cistern Design Considerations
Rainwater Harvesting does not have a long history of use in modern site design, but now that it is a topic of interest, many engineers have questions about this new practice. Many of these questions center on cisterns, which are at the heart of every rainwater harvester system. This post looks at four rainwater harvesting cistern design considerations – sizing, design life, structural capacity and installation.
Comparison of Materials Choices for Rainwater Harvesting Cisterns
There are a wide variety of cistern materials to choose from. Because they are often smaller in size, residential systems offer more options, but not all will scale to tens of thousands of gallons in a cost-effective manner. This article focuses on commercial and institutional scale projects where storage requirements are thousands of gallons and larger.
Structural Considerations for Stormwater Control Measures
As the need for effective stormwater treatment and volume control grows, so does the number of available stormwater control measures (SCMs) such as filtration systems, hydrodynamic separators, bio-retention  systems, green roofs and pervious pavement. As part of their due diligence, engineers go through an evaluation process to determine if the proposed system will meet some basic criteria, one of which is structural considerations. Below are some of the structural considerations.  The engineer should not assume that because a SCM is approved and/or detailed in a manual that all of the structural issues have been addressed. 
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