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Parameters Influencing the Sizing of Rainwater Tanks for Use in Houses

Abstract

Rainwater harvesting has been studied in different countries as a way of easing water availability problems and reducing potable water demand in buildings. The most important factor relating to the efficiency of a rainwater system is the correct sizing of the rainwater tank. Therefore, the objective of this article is to assess the influence of rainfall, roof area, number of residents, potable water demand and rainwater demand on rainwater tank sizing. The analysis was performed by using computer simulation and by considering daily rainfall data for three cities located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The roof areas considered were 50, 100, 200 and 400 m2; the potable water demands were 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 l per capita per day; the rainwater demands were taken as a percentage of the potable water demand, i.e., 10% to 100% at increments of 10%; and the number of residents was two and four. Results indicated a wide variation of rainwater tank sizes for each city and also for each parameter. The main conclusion that can be made from the study is that rainwater tank sizing for houses must be performed for each specific situation, i.e., considering local rainfall, roof area, potable water demand, rainwater demand and number of residents. Therefore, sizing rainwater tanks according to local tradition is not recommended as it may incur low efficiency.

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Correspondence to Enedir Ghisi.

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Ghisi, E. Parameters Influencing the Sizing of Rainwater Tanks for Use in Houses. Water Resour Manage 24, 2381–2403 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-009-9557-4

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Keywords

  • Rainwater tank sizing
  • Computer simulations
  • Houses
  • Sustainable development