Have been doing a lot of research lately, trying to get my head around what are some of the best ways to start collecting rainwater. Specifically, and the one thing that I am most interested in, is how to filter the rainwater appropriately BEFORE it gets into the holding tanks. I have some smaller barrels and so forth at the moment, which are reasonably effective at collecting limited amounts of water for gardening and that type of thing. Unfortunately, after a few months of use, I find that the barrels are filled with all kinds of debris and that type of thing, even with some screens being used prior to the water getting into the barrel. I have read some fairly decent articles on how to build a rainwater harvesting system, but the details on keeping debris out of the system seems somewhat unclear.
My overall goal is to actually be able to use the collected water for general household use (for showers and sinks and so forth), but am still unclear about how to keep a larger cistern/tank clean without having to drain it and climb in and clean it regularly.
Has anyone had any experience with more large scale rainwater harvesting for household use, that may be able to give some advice?
For a great visual of one way that it's done, I recommend taking a tour of Brad Lancaster's house by watching this video, particularly when he shows is flush pipe which keeps the great majority of particulate out of his tanks:
rainfall collection is the primary method in rural Australia. there is a topic here called "benefits of rainfall collection" which I have written to try and help. It deals with large volume collection.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
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