Collecting of rainwater during the rainy season is important in providing water for agricultural use, domestic and household uses and also for commercial and industrial uses. The mainly practiced rainwater harvesting is the rooftop water collection for various uses where water is collected in tanks. The major rainwater harvesting benefit is provision of water for later use when there is water scarcity or contaminated water and helps individuals enhance their water self-sufficiency. Rainwater harvesting helps reduce the cost of purchasing water for various uses as well as promoting environmental conservation. Harvesting of rainwater from a rooftop is made possible by use of gutters which collects the water as discharges it in a collection point.
Various types of materials are used in the making of rainwater tanks where the rainwater collected is usually stored. Rainwater tanks can be made of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, aluminum metal, and stainless steel which should be resistant to rust and other chemical reaction. The type of material used in making the rainwater tank usually depends on the durability as well as the affordability of the materials. Concrete rainwater tanks are usually more durable than the other tanks although rainwater tanks more preferred are those made of plastic materials. Underground placement or aboveground placement are two major ways in which rainwater tanks are set to collect and store water. Underground water tanks usually require that the water be pumped from the tanks since they cannot be fitted with a valve or a water tap.
Rainwater tanks should be covered at all times leaving just a small hole where the pipe discharging water can pass through so as to avoid unwanted materials from dropping into the water. Plastic rainwater tanks are used in many places since they come in different sizes, and volume and also one can find them almost everywhere. Plastic rainwater tanks should be placed on a concrete surface so as to avoid algae growth. Solar radiation exposure reduces the lifetime of plastic tanks hence should be placed in places where there is little or no direct sunlight. Other rainwater tanks made of other materials used should be well fitted to avoid contaminants getting into the water more so if the rainwater collected is for human consumption.
Sterilization of harvested rainwater is important to make it safe for human consumption. The contaminants come about as a result of many settling on the rooftop hence find their way into the harvested rainwater. Some techniques for removing contaminants from the rainwater to make it safe for drinking is by chlorination as well as filtration. Chlorination is usually preferred since it is not a costly method and it is also effective in sterilization. It is also advisable to ensure that when collecting rainwater, the first time it rains water should not be collected into the rainwater tanks since they have high loads of contaminants.