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Disconnected Vacation Homes: Three Tips for Using Gutters and Rain Collection for Potable Water

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If you have a vacation property, you may choose to have it completely disconnected from the outside world. This can include having systems for electricity like solar panels and other things that give you the small comforts of home without the need to connect mechanical systems. You will also want to have a source of potable water. This can be a well, but a well may not always be practical. Installing gutters and using a rain-collection system can be another great source of potable water for your home. Here are some tips to help you with installing gutters and a rain-collection system for your disconnected vacation home:

1. Choose a Roofing Material That Keeps the Water Clean

The choice of the type of roof you use on your home is important. Asphalt shingles should not be used if you plan on using rain collection because contaminates can get washed into the collection system. Natural materials like wood shakes or green roofs will be the cleanest solutions. You may also want to consider synthetic materials like PVC, which will have less of a chance of contaminating the water from roofing materials.

2. Add Gutters and Pre-Filtration to Maximize the Collection of Water

The rain gutters you have installed for your water-collection system are also important, and they can be wider that normal residential gutters. You will also want to talk with the gutter installer about additional features, such as downspout diverters that act as a pre-filtration system by removing any roof debris from the water and flushing the gutters when a first rain comes. This can ensure that there is little contamination that gets washed into your potable water system.

3. Storing, Treating, and Purifying Your Home's Water Supply

Storing your water is also important. You will want to have closed tanks to store your water. The inlets to take the water out of the tanks should be in the middle. This will help to prevent any debris that settles on the top or bottom of water from getting into your plumbing. You will also have to treat the water occasionally to ensure it is clean and safe to drink. You can also use a water-purification system in your home for final treatment. For any leftover water or overflow, you may want to consider an overfill system that diverts water to a containing pond that can be used for non-potable needs around your home.

These are some tips that can help you give your home a reliable source of potable water with rain-collection gutters. If you need help installing these systems on your home, contact a gutter installer and talk with them about how they can help give your property potable water.