Vol. 1 2009 – Rainwater harvesting technology


One of the privileges of living in North America is having easy access to water. However, there are areas in the world which are experiencing water shortages. This is definitely no surprise to the commercial design community. As worldwide water consumption continues to rise at a 2-to-1 rate of population growth, the demand for water efficient solutions has become the emphasis of green building design. Though low consumption plumbing fixtures and fittings can help reduce our carbon footprint, we are still using up our ever depleting source of fresh ground water.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is one of the most promising alternatives for supplying water in the face of increasing water scarcity and escalating demand. It presents an opportunity for augmentation of water supplies which allows for self-reliance and sustainability of the environment. This contributes to the overall conservation of our precious natural resources.


In a 1″ (25mm) downpour on a 1,000-square-foot surface (100m2), it is possible to harvest 620 gallons (2350L) of rainwater. In commercial or residential construction, a rainwater harvesting system can provide an economical alternative to municipal water sources. The concept of harvesting rainwater is simple:
Rainwater is collected in a catchment area (generally from a rooftop) and conveyed through the roof drains and piping.
Water is then sent through vortex fine mesh filters, to filter debris and oxygenate the rainwater.
The filtered water is then sent to storage tanks through a smoothing inlet which prevents the agitation of sediment at the bottom of the storage tank and helps evenly distribute the oxygenated water inside the tanks.
Harvested water for use in the building is extracted from the cleanest part of the tank, just below the surface of the water, using a floating filter and pump.
Click here for complete steps to harvesting.


  • Rainwater is free; the only cost is collection and use.
  • It lessens the demand on the municipal water supply.
  • It saves money on utility bills.
  • Provides effective stormwater runoff management by diminishing flooding, erosion and reducing the flow to storm water drains.
  • Stored water can be used for flushing toilets, urinals, car washing, cooling tower water make-up and landscaping
  • It is good for irrigation and plants thrive because stored rainwater is pH neutral and free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals, and other natural and manmade contaminants.
  • It adds life to equipment dependent on water to operate, as rainwater is naturally soft does not produce corrosion or scale like hard water.
  • Harvested rainwater can meet most non-potable water demands which comprises of about 89% of all water use in a typical office building.
  • It helps achieve LEED® credits under Water Use Reduction, Water Efficient Landscaping, and Storm water Management.


In cooperation with WISY AG and Rainwater Management Solutions (RMS), the leaders in rainwater products technology and consulting, Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co® is pleased to announce the introduction of the first complete line of rainwater products.

Click here for complete product selection.

To specify any of the rainwater harvesting products, go to You must be logged in and have already started a project. In the add new drawing by fixture menu, select Drain Specialties, then Rainwater Harvesting.

For a free information package/ product selection guide or assistance on specifying rainwater harvesting products for your next project, contact us at:


Toll-Free: 1.800.245.1880

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