As we all know “going green” is surging in popularity due to reasons ranging from ecologically responsible to money savings. In addition to solar options, College Station roofing also includes rainwater collection systems. Rainwater collection is the accumulation of rainwater for future reuse, usually before it reaches the local aquifer. A common thought in the industry is that only certain roofing materials should be used to collect water. However, in an in-depth 2010 study by the Texas Water Development Board and the University of Texas, statistic showed that this simply isn’t the case. In fact, choosing an unneeded material could increase the cost of your rainwater collection system greatly. Texas A&M University’s Agrilife Extension has also cited several factors influencing the amount of water collected.
Roofing Materials – It Doesn’t Matter
A rainwater collection system is actually a simple setup. The catchment area is simply the point of contact for rainfall. Usually, this is the surface of the roof because it becomes the first point of contact for rainfall. Newer roofing materials tend to outperform older roofing materials.
In the same 2010 study, the Texas Water Development Board found that the material used on the roof is not nearly as important as the contaminants that may be on the roof. In fact they found that the water collected contained contaminants (TC, FC, Fe, and Al) above — USEPA drinking water standards.
No roofing materials stand out as the “best roofing” material to be used for rainwater collection systems. Even “green roofs”, like metal, composite, and tile roofing, all require a treatment process prior to drinking. Many ranchers and big property owners have forms of rainwater collection systems to help irrigate their properties.
It is important to speak with your College Station roofing contractor about the types of materials used on the roof. Some metals contain lead, a contaminant to avoid.
Slope of the Roof – It’s a Delicate Balance
The slope of the roof determines the speed at which rainwater will runoff after rainfall. This is why special attention must be made to flat and low slope roofs. A steep slope may cause too much runoff to fall into your collection system. The angle of the roof should be determined in a manner that reduces contamination on the catchment area and flows freely into the collection system for further processing and refinement.
Size Matters – Bigger is Better
The size of the catchment area is essentially the entire square footage of your roof. The total area of the roof can be calculated easily by adding the square area of the home and the area of the roof overhang (beyond the square area of the home). Essentially, the harvested water in gallons can be determined by this equation:
Harvested Water (gal) = catchment area (ft2) X rainfall depth (in) x .623 conversion factor
(formula derived from Texas A&M University, Agrilife Extension)
Rainwater Collection systems are really a great way to add value to your home as well as turn a static part of your home into an automated solution that saves you money every time it rains. As you design your collection system, be sure to pay special attention to your roofing materials. The use of certain materials can reduce the level of contaminants in your collected water supply, reducing your overall production process, saving time and money. Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofing contractor that specializes in rainwater collection systems. If you are looking to calculate a certain yield on your collection and explore materials that reduce your containments level, contact Schulte Roofing.