Rainwater Catchment & Filtration Presentation for Charleston, WV

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Information about Rainwater Catchment & Filtration Presentation for Charleston, WV
How-to & DIY

Published on February 22, 2014

Author: weareallfarmers



A rainwater catchment presentation created by Jeremiah Kidd of San Isidro Permaculture for the residents of Charleston, WV to offer alternative water sources after the chemical spill into the Elk river and municipal water source.

Catch the Rain with Jeremiah Kidd San Isidro Permaculture In an animal or plant, 99 molecules in 100 are water…An organism is a pool in a stream of water along which metabolites and energy moves through ecosystems. W.V. Macfarlane

Why catch rainwater?  Primary Source  Naturally distilled  Saves energy and chemicals  Recharge aquifer  Reduce erosion and runoff  Water security Human Impacts Institute. 2012

Why catch rainwater  Store for dry season  Multiple Uses  Self Reliance  Plants benefit  Contains N and P  Remote areas  Free  Conserves aquifers

Benefits to the Environment  EPA ranks urban runoff and storm sewer discharge as second main source of water quality impairment in estuaries and fourth in our lakes  James, William “Green roads: Research into Permeable Pavers” 2002  “…have shown that up to 70% of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by stormwater,”  (

Benefits to the Environment  “contributes to a yearly loss of rainwater infiltration ranging from 57 to 133 billion gallons. If managed on site, this rainwater—which could support annual household needs of 1.5 to 3.6 million people—would filter through the soil to recharge aquifers and increase underground flows to replenish rivers, streams, and lakes,”  Paving our Way to Water Shortages (American Rivers, Natural Resources Defense Council 2002.

Misconceptions  No recharge  Too little  Mosquitoes  Deprives lakes  Eyesore  Too complicated/ expensive  Must use tanks Bill Abell 2009

Physical Properties of Rain Water  Water seeks the lowest point and path of least resistance  Conserve energy by storing at highest point possible for pressure, .43 psi per 1’ elevation, 1 psi=2.31 feet of elevation  One gallon of water weighs 8.3 lbs, 3.8 kg  One liter of water weighs 2.2 lbs, 1 kg  There is 7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water  There is 1,000 liters per cubic meter of water  Lower pH than groundwater in the arid areas

Qualities of Rain Water  Precipitation is the primary source of fresh water within our planet’s hydrological cycle.  Precipitation is naturally distilled through evaporation prior to cloud formation, and thus is one of our purest sources of water.  Rain is considered soft due to the lack for calcium carbonate or magnesium in solution and is excellent for cooking, washing and saving energy.  Rainwater is a natural fertilizer – picks up N & P  Rainwater has the lowest salt content of natural fresh water sources so it is a superior water source for plants.

Water Harvesting Principals  Begin with long and thoughtful observations.  Start at the top (highpoint) of your watershed and work your way down.  Start small and simple.  Slow, spread, and infiltrate the flow of water. Brad Lancaster:

Water Harvesting Principals  Always plan an overflow route, and manage that overflow as a resource.  Maximize living and organic groundcover.  Maximize beneficial relationships and efficiency by “stacking functions”.  Continually reassess your system: the feedback loop. Brad Lancaster:

Design starts with observation  What is the rainfall patterns: wet, dry      seasons How much average rainfall in your area? Where are there catchment surfaces? What is the elevations of the catchment surfaces in relation to point of use? What is the vegetation growing above and below catchment surfaces? Taste and smell experience difference from city or well supply

Planning a water harvesting system 1. What will the water be used for? 2. How much rain falls in a year? 3. How much water is consumed? 4. The area of roof or other catchment available? 5. What size storage can be built? 6. Where to place the storage relative to the catchment and point of use. 7. Budget/resources available

Parts of a system  Collection Surface – Roofs, Patios, etc  Conveyance – Gutters, Downspouts, Piping  Filtration – Screens, First Flush  Storage Containers – Tanks, Ponds, Soil  Other Parts – Pumps, Pressure Tanks  Overflow – Rain Garden, Swales, Pond  Water Usage – Domestic, Toilet, Irrigation

Collection surfaces

Preferable Surfaces  Acceptable roofing materials are slate, terra-cotta tile, copper, untreated wood shingles, concrete, and metal painted with an epoxy paint.  Unacceptable materials are asphalt shingles, older concrete tiles (which can contain asbestos), tar, or treated wood shingles.  Asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing material. Unfortunately, they leach toxins into the water that runs off them.  If you have asphalt shingles, think of other options or apply acceptable surfaces on some or your home.

Roof Catchment

Shingle Conversion

Conveyance  Gutters, Downspouts, Piping

Roof to Tank

Catch Boxes

First Flush Examples Courtesy of

First Flush Sizing  1-2 gallons per 100 sq. ft. of roof area.  5-10 gal per 1000 sq. ft.  A 1’ length of 3 inch pipe holds approximately 0.74 gallons  A 1’ length of 4 inch pipe holds approximately 1.30 gallons

Pre Tank Filtering

Storage Containers – Tanks

Water Wall Tank

Above Ground Tank

Partially Buried Poly Tank SIP 2011

Buried PE Tank SIP 2011

Linking Cisterns in Parallel

PE Tank in Parallel SIP 2011

Access Risers & Venting

Ferro-Cement Tanks

Ferro-Cement Tank Uganda

Finished 79,800 liter Tank!

Post Installation Inspection

Tank Parts

Monthly Precipitation Charleston, West Virginia  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sept  Oct  Nov  Dec  Total: 3.00” 3.31” 3.91” 3.24” 4.80” 4.29” 4.94” 3.74” 3.25” 2.67” 3.73” 3.27” 44.15” The driest month is October with 2.67” of precipitation, and with 4.94” July is the wettest month.

Calculating Catchment Charleston, West Virginia Average Annual Rainfall ~ 44.15” Method 1: 1000 sq. foot house X 44.15” rainfall (average annual rainfall) / 12 (12 inches per cubic foot) = 3,679 cubic feet of water 3,679 (cubic feet) X 7.48 (7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water) = 27,519 gallons per year

Calculating Catchment Charleston, West Virginia Total Annual Rainfall ~ 44.15” Method 2: Catchment Area (square feet) X Average Rainfall (ft) X 7.48 (gallons per cubic foot) = Total Rainwater (gallons) 1,000 square feet X 3.679’ (44.15” / 12) X 7.48 (gallons per cubic foot) = 27,518.92 gallons per year

CATCHMENT AREA in squarefeet 28’x33’=924 f2 X RAINFALL 44.15” / feet = 3.8 f3 X 7.48 = 26,264 Gallons per year

Calculating Storage Charleston, West Virginia October 2.67” Average Rain Fall – Average Low. 1000 sq. foot house X 2.67” rainfall (average monthly rainfall) / 12 (12 inches per cubic foot) = 222.5 cubic feet of water 250 (cubic feet) X 7.48 (7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water) = 1,664.3 gallons in January 1,664.3 / 4 = 416 gallons per family member (family of 4) 416 / 30 (average days per month) = 13.9 gallons per day each

Calculating Storage Charleston, West Virginia July 4.95” Average Rain Fall – Average High. 1000 sq. foot house X 4.94” rainfall (average monthly rainfall) / 12 (12 inches per cubic foot) = 411.7 cubic feet of water 411.7 (cubic feet) X 7.48 (7.48 gallons per cubic foot of water) = 3,079.5 gallons in January 3,079.5 / 4 = 769.9 gallons per family member (family of 4) 769.9 / 30 (average days per month) = 25.7 gallons per day each

Calculating Storage Charleston, West Virginia Average Water Use in the USA Bath – A full tub is 36 gallons Shower – New heads 2 gallons per minute / 5 gallons with the old Brushing Teeth - < 1 gallon Washing Hands & Face – 1 gallon Face & Leg Shaving – 1 gallon Dishwasher – 4 – 10 gallons per load Dishwashing by Hand – 20 gallons Clothes Washing – 25 gallons per load Toilet Flushing – 1.6 – 3 gallons per flush Drinking Water – 8 – 24 8oz cups per day (1/8 – 3/8 gallon per day) *A Santa Fe Family Uses 23 gallons Per Person Per Day For the Household

Calculating Storage Charleston, West Virginia Potable water at 2 gallons per day for family of 4 is 240 gallons per month – a 500 gallon tank sufficient For whole house would suggest at least 2,ooo gallons – 67 gallon per day

Pumps: Choose the right one for the job

Pump Characteristics  Water pumps are designed to push water not pull  Whenever possible locate pumps so water flows into the pump by gravity - Foot Valve  Suction Head is the pressure required to pull water into the pump housing, most pump not more than 10 feet  Match needed flow rate with pump output GPM  Sprinklers or flood irrigation uses much more GPM than Drip Irrigation  Prescreen to 1/8” for inlet of pump

Pressure Tank or On Demand Pump Pressure tank keeps extra water available so small demands do not trigger pump start  Prolongs the life of a pump by reducing on/off  Provides water that is under pressure On Demand Pumps-cycles on/off as demand requires - Does not require a pressure tank - May have built in dry protection - Usually has shorter life

Pump Controls  Floats for On, Off & Auto Filling  Pressure Switches  Irrigation Computer  Smart Controllers

Gutters  Materials - Vinyl, Aluminum, Steel, Stainless, Copper  Slope – 1/16” per 1’ to 1/16” per 10’  Tilt Out – ½” to prevent water seeping into walls  Expansion Joints for runs over 40’  Sufficient Support  Downspouts – 1 per 1,000 sq ft surface  1 sq inch of outlet per 100 sq ft surface  Screen to reduce debris entering conveyance  Prune Branches  Snow Cleats – reduce damage, increase catchment

On Ground Catchment  Catch Boxes  Drain Grates  Patio Drains

Preventative Care & Health Risk Realities  Keep vegetation and animal nests away from the catchment surface - First Flush Diverters  Leaf Screens – make them accessible  Good Things – Water improves with age –Biofilm Many people around the world live on rainwater.  Dilution reduces load on immune system  Simple & Economical Filters Available

Sanitation  Be cautious but not paranoid, filter for needs  Don’t clean your tanks unless emergency-Biofilm  Pollutants that can be found in rainwater:  Microbiological: Parasites, Bacteria, Fungi, Organic - Bird Droppings, Insects – UV Sterilization  Chemical Contaminants: Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) – Solvents – Carbon Filter  Synthetic Organic Chemicals: Usually only around heavy industrial areas – Carbon Filter  Minerals/Metals: Copper, Lead from roofs or gutters -

Sanitation: Microbes  Viruses: smallest 20 to ~100 nanometers in size. Most difficult to remove  Bacteria: larger (0.5 to 3 micrometers) also can not be removed by plain sedimentation or settling  Protozoan: next largest (3 to 30 micrometers) largest ones likely to gravity settle at appreciable rates. Can filter out some  waterborne pathogens are often associated with larger particles or they are aggregated (clumped). Aggregated or particleassociated microbes are easier to remove by physical processes  Coagulation-flocculation WHO 2012

Treatment of Stored Rainwater  If going to do it, do it right  Chlorination  Filters  Boiling  Sunlight  Additional Treatments

Chlorination  Effective, but conduct with care  Shock with 1 Tablespoon (.5 ounce or 14g) swimming pool calcium hypochlorite (60-70%) per 530 gallons (2000 liters)  Stir and let stand 24 hrs for chlorine to dissipate  Maintain with 1/7th of the above amount - stir in and let stand 2 hrs  Mix chlorine into water NOT water into chlorine webelements

Filters Sediment/Screen 80-100 micron Carbon – Best for VOC’s Whole house 10 micron can be found for $200 Ceramic – for smaller particles – viruses Reverse Osmosis (RO) Finest yet wastes 1-5 x filtered

Sand Filter “Biofilm” provides the effective purification in potable water treatment with 9099% bacterial reduction Courtesy of Clean Water for Haiti & National Drinking Water Clearing House

Filtration - Ceramic The Gravidyn is a microporous ceramic filter element with an inner core filled with activated carbon granulate. 99.9999 % removal of harmful Bacteria and Parasites 99.99 % removal of Cryptosporidium and Giardia General: Removal of organics (this will include: organic contaminants, pesticides, micropollutants, humic acids, detergents) and free chlorine Katadyn Ceramic Filtration System $295.00 - $318.00

Sanitation Viruses: 99.999% reduction MS2 - Fr Coliphage*Exceeds purification standards 
Pathogenic Bacteria, Parasites, and Cysts 100% reductionE. coli, Klebsiellaterrigena, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium*Exceeds purification standards 
Trihalomethanes: Removed to below detectable limits - 99.99999% reduction Bromodichloromethane, Bromofore, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane Berkey Filtration System $228.00 - $

Sanitation Katadyn Hiking Carbon System $50.00 - $150.00

Boiling  2-3 minutes  A lot of fuel  Take a while to cool  Not always feasible  Solar Cookers Dr. Kundapur

Low-Tec Sedimentation  Simple and low cost: storage vessels - pots, buckets  Clays and smaller microbes do not settle  Do not disturb sediment particles at bottom  Unreliable to reduce pathogens  Remove solids and clean regardless of storage vessel type  Good pre-treatment to remove turbidity before UV or chemical disinfection

S.O.D.I.S. Solar Disinfection 6 hrs full sun – UV starilization

Sequence Combining Filtration and Purification Strategies for Potable Water

Sequence Combining Filtration and Purification Strategies for Potable Water

Corrosion Control  pH Rainwater naturally Acidic: 4.5-6.3 – usually not a problem  Affects Copper – raise with Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) periodically to pH of 7.4  In-line Filters Available – Calcium carbonate (limestone) pellets, Sodium oxide (lime) pellets – these must be downstream of UV units

Water Quality Enhancers  Calmed Inlets – Minimize the disturbance of sediment on bottom of tank and Biofilm  Floating Valve Out-take – Remove water from the “sweet spot” when possible

Thank You! Jeremiah Kidd San Isidro Permaculture +1 (505) 983-3841

Thanks to  Aaron Kauffman  Brad Lancaster  Chelsea Green Publishers  John Gould & Erik Nissen - Peterson

Resources  Rainwater Harvesting for  Virginia Rainwater Catchment Manual  Simple explanation and diagram  Supplier in Salem, Virginia  Supplier in Maryland offers all parts needed for a system  Supplier in Georgia  Contech Engineered Solutions 700 Tech Dr, Winchester,  First Flush Design

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