Rainwater harvesting systems are a great idea, and relatively simple to set up. But debris and contamination can be a problem. In this article, we discuss why it is important to keep leaves and bugs out of your tank. When leaves collect in your water after falling off the tree, they will decompose and therefore pose as a threat to the quality of your water (not to mention fueling algae growth). Bugs like mosquitoes carry diseases and they also breed in stagnant water.
5 Simple Ways to Eliminate Leaves, Bugs, and other Debris getting into your Rainwater Tank:
- Avoid Trees Near Your Roof - Your roof is where you are initially collecting the rainwater, so if you keep trees away from the side of your house they will not overhang and drop leaves on your roof. This may involve keeping the branches pruned back away from the roof.
- Gutter Guard - This is a filtration cover for your gutter. It lets water through but blocks debris. This system features an easy install and low maintenance.
- First Flush Filtration System - This is setup between the downpipe and the rainwater tank (after your gutters catch the water). This lets your first rain come and wash all the debris away before you start collecting water. Note: If you have trees continually dropping leaves on your roof and have no other form of filtration this system may fail to keep all debris out of your tank.
- Layered Filter Bucket - This is a bucket also where the water will be channeled through between the downpipe and the rainwater tank. It is commonly constructed using a 5-gallon pail and filled with 2 layers of pea gravel, 2 of sand, and 1 of activated charcoal. The water passing through these layers will be filtered.
- Nylon Filters - Easily made from women's stockings, these nylon filters can be applied between sections of pipe joining together before the pipe reaches the storage tank. The nylon is inserted into the pipe long enough to form a small sack and then wrapped around the outside of the pipe before connecting it to another pipe.
I hope this has given you what you were looking for about keeping your harvested rainwater clean and free of debris. Anything we didn't cover? Ask us with a comment in the section below. I'd really love to help.