Take advantage of rainy season, catch rainwater

September 27th, 2015 by

DAVAO CITY—An environmental group has appealed to residents to take advantage of the wet season “by harvesting rainwater for household use.”

“Harvesting rainwater for domestic or industrial use will lessen our water-utility bills, since we won’t waste drinking water for flushing toilets, cleaning households or for watering gardens,” said Mark Penalver, policy advocacy specialist of the Interface Development Interventions (Idis), a non-governmental representative to the city government-formed Watershed Management Council. Penalver said the stored water from the rains “can reduce the effects of storm water peak flow and surface runoff.”

“Imagine if every building in the city has a rain-catching storage, there will be less flooding in the streets and less erosion of floodwater canals,” Penalver said.

A more important consideration, however, was the depleting potable water at the city aquifers.

“It is timely that we push for more widespread rainwater catching-system adoption. Since the Talomo-Lipadas Watershed aquifers are running out of potable water, we need to conserve our water, and this means not wasting it for non-potable use,” he said.

The city government passed the Rainwater Ordinance in 2009, “mandating the establishment of rainwater-catching systems [RCS] in newly built residences and buildings. The policy was formulated to promote the storage and usage of rainwater for nonpotable use,” Idis said. Under the ordinance, building designs must incorporate a rainwater-catchment system before being issued a building permit. It said that the City Engineer’s Office “is finalizing some RCS designs for recommendation and the office has begun issuing RCS permits for applications that have complied with the ordinance.”

Penalver said that households and existing buildings must also comply with the ordinance.

“RCS designs need not be complicated; it can be as simple as placing an empty container under a gutter or a downspout so that the rainwater will be harvested,” he said.

He advised, though, on putting a screen on the mouth of the container to prevent mosquitoes from using the water as a breeding site.

“For longer storage, cover the containers. Otherwise, empty the containers in less than 10 days to prevent mosquito larva from inhabiting the water,” Penalver said. (Manuel Cayon, BusinessMirror)