Archive for July, 2006

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Rain Barrels

July 31, 2006

Rain barrel  RAIN BARREL- A simple Rainwater harvesting system
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting, storing and using rainwater for any productive purpose.
One simple way for people to start harvesting rainwater is by installing a RAIN BARREL.
A Rain barrel is a simple rainwater storage drum shown in picture below.
A set of rain barrels
It is placed on a platform 18 inches high. It has a tap to enable withdrawal of water from a bucket or a hosepipe. The rain barrel comes along with a first rain separator and a filter to improve the quality of the rain water collected. The filter is a small-perforated aluminum basket with three folded (8 layers of cloth) on it.
Rain barrell 1What else can we do with the Rain Barrel?
Every Rain Barrel has a tap and an overflow outlet. The water collected in the Rain Barrel can be used to recharge open wells or bore wells. Using a hosepipe and a Zero-B type filter the tap can be connected to the bore well or sump tank.
Overflows from Rain Barrels can also be used for recharging the ground.What are the benefits of a Rain Barrel?

Rainwater harvesting through the Rain Barrel generates water for productive use which otherwise would have been wasted. It also helps mitigate urban flooding and reduces pressure on city level water supplies and groundwater extraction.
Installing RAIN BARRELS is the easiest and cheapest way to participate in the rainwater harvesting movement and make a positive difference to society.

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Rainwater tank – Cool space for homework

July 31, 2006

HomeworkThis rainwater tank is all of 2000 litres in capacity. For the housewife
it harvests around
20,000 litres rainwater yearly.
When designing this we had kids in mind also. They should be able to sit comfortably on it and do their homework. It is the only
dry and clean place available for many of them given the damp earth floor inside the house. The space is outdoors too and the height is just right for an elder sister to help you with maths.
Sometimes it is the multipurpose use of the tank which makes it a great tool for better living.

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Urban experiences-rooftop rainwater harvesting for groundwater recharge

July 28, 2006

A recharge well with concrete rings
Recharging wells is a great way to harvest rainwater. Bangalore for example had 30,000 open wells at a point of time, now disappearing fast. The time is ripe to bring wells back to life.
One thing every household must do is to build a ring well 3 feet diameter and about 20 feet deep. Lead all the rooftop water to this well through a filter.
If you are a nice person – and the hydrogeolitho- logical gods are kind- you will pretty soon see water in your wells . It will be good and clean ready for you to use.
Otherwise you will take consolation in the fact that you have not allowed rainwater to run on the streets and drains and have done your bit to prevent the urban streets from getting flooded. The groundwater too will be recharged for somebody else to use.

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Making a Rooftop Rainwater System

July 12, 2006

The making of a rooftop rainwater harvesting systethe storage tankm is a fun process if ALL in the community get involved. The girls in their colourful dress are shy in the beginning and watch from the door.the filtration unit

The design of the filter, testing it, fine tuning it so that it works the way we want it to involves the whole village especially the kids. This conical filter for example has to have a mesh, a sponge and washed sand.
A 15 litre pot should be emptied in 15 seconds and all the water should go through the filter in that time. Then it can handle a good rain of 60 mm/hour intensity.

The tank has to be painted white to keep the water inside cool. The tap has to be a bit high to always leave some water in the tank.
Rooftop water has to come in through PVC gutters and a first rain separator clears the roof water when it is washed. A cat is pretty disinterested in the process till a youngchecking the sand filter owner
decides participation is for all, including felines.

The young boys then pose for photographs and the village community tank now has supplemental support at the household level. Each tank will harvest at least 20,000 litres of water every year and give it at the doorstep.

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Karez

July 12, 2006

In the Xinjiang province of China you will find the ‘karez’. Also called ‘Qanat’ in Iran, these are underground tunnels which bring either snow melt or groundwater from up in the high mountains to the desert area of the Taklimakan.The tunnels are carved with a vertical opening every 6 metres or so. Grandfather begins, son completes it and grandson enjoys the fruits goes the saying. These upeering into the tunnelnderground tunnels run for kilometres.

When I stepped into one the water was ice cold and my legs were blue below the knees. A group of youngsters peered at me and were happy to pose for pictures in front of a vertical shaft in their village. A little girl with a scar on her face peers into the muddy water I stirred up. The woman who came to collect water was not too happy with my stirring the water up and I was suitably abashed and apologetic knowing not what I had wrought. The karez is being rediscovered in China .Vertical opening to the karezThe Chinese say that more than 5600 km of running tunnels have been found. They call it a bigger work than the Great wall for after all the Great wall served no purpose whereas the Karez is life itself in Xinjiang. The Karezins, the builders of the Karez are finally getting their due for a technique dating 2000 years. Alexander the great saw Karez on his journey and the Taliban hid in them to escape the American bombs.

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