Design and Testing of an Improved Rainwater Harvester
A survey carried out in the island of Rodrigues noted that Rodriguans still make use of rainwater harvester for drinking purposes. Findings of the survey also showed that rainwater harvesters (RWH) are, however, not properly operated and maintained in most cases. The reasons being both because of lack of adequate know-how and also because of the structure of the rainwater harvester. Though rainwater harvesting has been in place since long, there has not been much improvement in the design of rainwater harvesters over the years. Consequently, the quality of the water collected is relatively poor. With a view of improving the quality of the rainwater collected, a low cost rainwater harvester system was designed and tested. Tests carried out on both the conventional and the improved rainwater harvesters clearly indicated that with a simple filtration unit, it was possible to achieve a major improvement in the physical, chemical and microbiological quality of the water collected. Rodrigues is not a rich island, and hence if the inhabitants are to adopt a new system, it will have to be both low cost and easy to maintain. The improved rainwater harvester caters for both issues, and it is, therefore, considered as being a system likely to bring many benefits to Rodriguans.
Keywords: filtration, rainwater harvesting, island, water demand management