Rainwater drainage for a sustainable future

Rainwater drainage systems look forward to a more sustainable future. Watchword: less waste. Climate change and more and more frequent "cloudburts" urgently require private houses and public buildings to bolster their defense against floodings and infiltrations. If drainage channels are no longer optional, connecting them to an efficient rainwater collection system can make a difference in terms of water saving. To avoid wasting the most precious resource on the planet, it is time to deal with the numbers of daily water consumption, especially its withdrawal. And, inevitably, to come to terms with the environment. Let's start with a fact: 419 liters per inhabitant. It is the daily withdrawal of water for drinking use in Italy, equal to 9.2 billion national cubic meters, to guarantee water supply for domestic, public, commercial and productive purposes. These data come from Istat, which annually draws up a report on national consumption on the occasion of the World Water Day.

Rainwater harvesting: a bit of history.

A foot in the past and an eye to the future; it might seem a contradiction but actually the collection of rainwater can be traced up to early history. Indeed, systems for collection and redistribution of water were studied in ancient Greece and the Romans became masters in water harvesting by developing infrastructures that diverted water in covered cisterns built in the ground underneath the courts. Evidence shows that different types of rainwater collection systems were used even in 4000 BC, during the Neolithic period, to collect rainwater in order to cope with periods of draughts. Today, in many European cities, urban rainwater harvesting projects are becoming increasingly common to turn rainwater into a resource and the problem of floods into an opportunity. The so-called “climate resilient development” is turning cities into “sponge-cities”. And, where possible, the water is collected tobe re-used. But there is still a long way to go and even private houses can do their part. Let's see how.

The collection of rainwater starts with the right drainage.

To take full advantage of rainwater collection systems, proper drainage channels are paramount. Are you thinking of just placing cisterns in the garden? Ask yourself how much water will actually fall to the ground without the possibility to be re-used. The first step to harvest rainwater by not letting it go to waste is therefore to design an adequate drainage system for your home. This also applies to public works: car parks, squares, stations, parks and sport facilities need hydraulically efficient drainage channels able to cope with more and more heavy rainfall. Connected to collection systems, they direct rainwater to some sort of storage vessels allowing water reuse.

How do you plan the drainage and collection of rainwater?

How would you design the drainage and collection of rainwater? The drainage channels that intercept and convey rainwater to the collection systems can be installed in all kinds of floors. In case of new construction it is advisable to design pavements and squares with the proper slope that allows water to flow towards the channels gratings. Drainage channels, and roof drain pipe sas well, will be connected to rainwater storage tanks that can be istalled undergroud  , for a better aesthetic impact. The small debris carried by rainwater will be captured by the floor drains which allow maintenance and the removal of blockages. connected to the drainage channels which can be inspected. In fact, to speed up the cleaningoperations, Inoxsystem recommends inserting a filter basket capable of "blocking" the dirt before the water reaches the collection tank. The rainwater collected by the drainage systems can thus be reused for irrigation of the garden. But not only that: also for cleaning external areas, washing cars and draining the toilet. And the environment will thank you.

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