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After the first part of our four-part Rainwater Harvesting webinar series, Rainwater Harvesting as a Runoff Reduction Tool, participants had the opportunity to ask our Rainwater Harvesting experts questions.

We didn't have enough time in the hour to answer all of the questions, so we are posting them here so that they are available to all.


These were the top 3 questions asked about Rainwater Harvesting System Maintenance:

  1. Q: What do you do for overflow/dewatering for maintenance?
    A: All cisterns should be designed to divert flows around or through the cistern when full. Ideally, maintenance would be timed during a dry period, so dewatering would be minimal. Otherwise, the system will have to be dewatered in accordance with local requirements. If make-up water refills the cistern, make sure it is disabled before maintenance begins.
  2. Q: As non-potable water supplies begin to dominate potable water supplies, are there going to be issues with flushing potable water lines to reduce build up?
    A: Perhaps. At that point we’d be saving a lot of water and mitigating a lot of runoff!
  3. Q: Do you have an idea of annual cost to operate one of these systems? Maintenance, electricity, etc.
    A: The maintenance and operation costs will vary widely depending on the pump size, level of treatment, and volume of water treated. Utility savings usually exceed maintenance cost, so that there is a net savings annually. Proper pretreatment will also reduce maintenance on the cistern and self-cleaning final filters that automatically back-flush reduce maintenance.

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