Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011TX394B

Effect of Treatment on Harvested Rainwater Quality

Institute: Texas
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Sarah Keithley, Mary Kirisits

Abstract: Rainwater harvesting, which is the capture of rainwater from a roof catchment, has many environmental benefits. For instance, it is a local water resource, so electricity is not consumed to pump it across long distances; it also reduces stormwater run-off. While harvested rainwater is a valuable resource that can be treated for indoor domestic use (potable and non-potable), there is a surprising lack of data regarding the quality of harvested rainwater before and after treatment. The objective of the proposed project is to quantify the physical, chemical, and biological quality of rainwater harvested from pilot-scale roofs (asphalt fiberglass shingle, Galvalume, concrete tile, cool, and green) and a full-scale roof (Galvalume) before and after common treatment processes (i.e., cartridge filtration and ultraviolet [UV] light or chlorine disinfection). Thus, this research will allow us to determine if the common processes employed to treat rainwater will produce water that meets potable and non-potable standards. The proposed project also will include an outreach component in which middle-school students will participate in hands-on exercises to examine the quality of harvested rainwater before and after treatment.