Rainwater catchment is critical to a lot of people on the Big Island of Hawaii. At least a third of the population depends on rainfall for water supply by using catchment systems.
Advantages of Rainwater Catchment
1. Easy to Maintain: Water in catchment systems are easily maintained by simply adding a little bleach and baking soda to it monthly.
2. No Water Bills: Since rainfall is free there are no monthly water bills.
3. No Chemicals: Rainwater is free from many chemicals added in city water. You are in control of what is in your water and how it is cleaned.
4. Non-drinking Purposes: Rainwater when collected can be used for flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering the garden, washing cars etc.
5. Drinking: Tastes amazing when filtered by a UV light and tested.
6. Beneficial impact on the environment.
Disadvantages of Rainwater Catchment
1. Unpredictable Rainfall: Little or no rainfall can limit the supply of rainwater. In times of drought or when water is overused, you will need to pay for a water truck to fill your catchment tank.
2. Regular Maintenance: It is a good idea to have your catchment professionally cleaned every couple years. If not maintained catchments can become prone to rodents, mosquitoes, algae growth, insects and lizards.
3. Metal roof: Metal tin roofs are the noisiest in the rain but are the cleanest roof system to catch water. Other Roof Types may grow algae and mold easier and seep chemicals into your water. To make your home more livable under a tin roof in the hard pounding rain, I highly advise insulating the ceiling. Another option could be learning sign language as a family to communicate and turn on TV captions if you want to watch TV. The option to insulate would also be greatly beneficial on sunny days by stopping the extreme heat on the metal roof from heating up your home to uncomfortable conditions.
4. Space and sight of the catchment container: The view of a big round metal container is definitely an eye sore in your yard! It is hard to hide since it has to be close to your home. Forget about trying to hide it with plants because any close foliage will provide easy access to insects and rodents turning your water into their personal swimming pool and breeding grounds. If you really want to change the view of your catchment, paint a mural or tropical camouflage on it.
5. Volcanic Ash Fall: In the event that volcano ash is released into the air, you will need to take precautions such as stopping all new water from entering the catchment and sealing it the best you can.
6. Undrinkable: Catchment water is undrinkable unless cleaned by a UV filter.
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