Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulating and storing, of rainwater. It has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation or to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater systems are simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater can be of good quality and may not require treatment before consumption. Although some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that is harmful to human health, it can be useful in washing clothes and in other tasks. Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200 mm (7.9 in) per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992).

Rainwater harvesting is an innovative alternative water supply approach anyone can use. Rainwater harvesting captures, diverts, and stores rainwater for later use. Captured rainwater is often used in landscaping, because the water is free of salts and other harmful minerals and does not have to be treated. It is also useful in attracting and providing water for wildlife.

Implementing rainwater harvesting techniques directly benefits our state by reducing demand on the water supply, and reducing run-off, erosion, and contamination of surface water.

In many communities, 30 to 50 percent of the total water is used for landscape irrigation. Capturing rainwater for use in the landscape makes efficient use of a valuable resource, reducing water bills and reducing demand on water supply.

Rainwater harvesting can also help to prevent flooding and erosion, turning stormwater problems into water supply assets by slowing runoff and allowing it to soak into the ground. Reducing run-off also helps to reduce the contamination of surface water with sediments, fertilizers, and pesticides in rainfall run-off.

There are a number of types of systems to harvest rainwater ranging from very simple to the complex industrial systems. Generally, rainwater is either harvested from the ground or from a roof. The rate at which water can be collected from either system is dependent on the plan area of the system, its efficiency, and the intensity of rainfall (i.e annual precipitation (mm per annum) x square meter of catchment area = litres per annum yield) ... a 200 square meter roof catchment catching 1,000mm PA yields 200 kLPA.

Have you ever thought of collecting water in rain barrel that is very unattractive and can only hold 50 gallons of water? Well the future is here, the Rain X-change Rainwater Harvesting system from Aquascape has been introduced! The great thing about The Rainwater Harvesting system is that you are bringing a the natural beauty of a waterfall or fountain to your yard but at the same time can hold 500 or more gallons of water into an underground basin that is then filtered by the waterfall. The worst part of a rain barrel is that trying to get the water to where you want to use it can be a pain. The Aquascape system has a booster pump installed inside or outside your house that feeds right from the basin which can be hooked directly into your garden hose or drip irrigation system for full pressure. You can also collect water not only from the roof but from your patio, walkway or driveway using permeable pavers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Northeastern United States:
Big brown bats commonly use bat houses in the Northeastern U.S.

This is very timely:
the latest newsletter from The Texas Gardener' Seeds said: Put up a bat house to encourage the presence of these shy animals. Bats consume 3,000 or more mosquitoes and other insects nightly, and bats are less likely to be rabid than dogs are. Need another reason? Bats are responsible for up to 95 percent of the seed dispersal essential to the regeneration of forests. Contrary to believe, bats will not just attack people for no reason. They feed on small insects not humans. Bats are extremely important. Yet due to years of unwarranted human fear and persecution, bats are in alarming decline. By putting up a bat house you are helping by giving them a home. You will also benefit from having fewer yard and garden pests, and will enjoy learning about bats and sharing your knowledge with friends and family.
So add a Bat House to your yard, and relieve yourself of those little bugs like Mosquitoes.
Where you mount your bat house plays a major role in the internal temperature. Houses can be mounted on such structures as poles, sides of buildings and tall trees without obstructions. Houses placed on poles and structures tend to become occupied quicker than houses placed on trees. Bat houses should face south to southeast to take advantage of the morning sun. In northern states and Canada, bat houses need to receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. It is also advantageous to paint the house black to absorb plenty of heat (when baby bats are born, they need it very warm). Use non-toxic, latex paint to paint your bat house and only paint the outside. Your bat house should be mounted at least 15 feet above the ground, the higher the house the greater the chance of attracting bats. Bats return from migration and awaken from hibernation as early as March in most of the U.S., but stay active year-round in the extreme southern U.S. They will be abundant through out the summer and into late fall. Most houses used by bats are occupied in the first 1 to 6 months (during the first summer the bat house was erected). If bats do not roost in your house by the end of the second summer, move the house to another location.

What types of bats can I expect to see in my bat house in the Northeastern states?
Throughout the northern two-thirds of the U.S. and Canada, the Little Brown Bat (Myotis launchings) and the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) use bat houses. They can also inhabit the Southeast, but are generally replaced by the South-eastern Bat (Myotis Australia). Pallid Bats (Antrozous pallidus) are found in arid areas. The Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis), Eastern Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus), Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis) and the Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) will also use bat houses. Any bats that roost in crevices or under bridges and in buildings are likely tenants for bat houses.