CA2711427C - Rainwater collection and redistribution system - Google Patents

Rainwater collection and redistribution system Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2711427C
CA2711427C CA 2711427 CA2711427A CA2711427C CA 2711427 C CA2711427 C CA 2711427C CA 2711427 CA2711427 CA 2711427 CA 2711427 A CA2711427 A CA 2711427A CA 2711427 C CA2711427 C CA 2711427C
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Canada
Prior art keywords
rainwater
filter
collection vessel
reservoir
collection
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Expired - Fee Related
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CA 2711427
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French (fr)
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CA2711427A1 (en
Inventor
Jim Harrington
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Jim Harrington
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Priority to US99123007P priority Critical
Priority to US60/991,230 priority
Priority to US9760708P priority
Priority to US61/097,607 priority
Application filed by Jim Harrington filed Critical Jim Harrington
Priority to PCT/US2008/079714 priority patent/WO2009070388A1/en
Publication of CA2711427A1 publication Critical patent/CA2711427A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of CA2711427C publication Critical patent/CA2711427C/en
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B1/00Methods or layout of installations for water supply
    • E03B1/04Methods or layout of installations for water supply for domestic or like local supply
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B1/00Methods or layout of installations for water supply
    • E03B1/04Methods or layout of installations for water supply for domestic or like local supply
    • E03B1/041Greywater supply systems
    • E03B2001/047Greywater supply systems using rainwater
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04DROOF COVERINGS; SKY-LIGHTS; GUTTERS; ROOF-WORKING TOOLS
    • E04D13/00Special arrangements or devices in connection with roof coverings; Protection against birds; Roof drainage; Sky-lights
    • E04D13/04Roof drainage; Drainage fittings in flat roofs, balconies or the like
    • E04D13/08Down pipes; Special clamping means therefor
    • E04D2013/086Filters
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A20/00Water conservation; Efficient water supply; Efficient water use
    • Y02A20/108Rainwater harvesting
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T137/00Fluid handling
    • Y10T137/0318Processes
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T137/00Fluid handling
    • Y10T137/6851With casing, support, protector or static constructional installations
    • Y10T137/6966Static constructional installations
    • Y10T137/6969Buildings

Abstract

A system and method for collecting and redistributing rainwater by catching rainwater using a conventional roofing and guttering system, piping the rainwater into a collection vessel for storing the rainwater, pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel through a hose; and redistributing the rainwater from the collection vessel via the hose. The system can comprise a rainwater filter that provides one or more filtration stages to rainwater collected. The rainwater filter has a filter reservoir that includes one or more outlets to communicate filtered water to the collection vessel and one or more overflow ports. The filter may also include a shutoff valve to regulate flow of water into the collection vessel, and a filter reservoir drain to avoid stagnation of water in the filter reservoir.

Description

RAINWATER COLLECTION AND REDISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field.
[0002] The present invention generally relates to systems for collecting and redistributing rainwater and to systems for collecting rainwater from conventional roofing and guttering systems into a water collection storage vessel for later redistribution such as for landscaping uses. The present invention further relates to a water filter used in connection with the rainwater collection and redistribution systems.
2. Prior At [0003] As the extreme drought in the southeastern United States in 2007 has reinforced to residents of the United States, water is a very precious commodity.
Throughout the US drought, and indeed in many other places worldwide, water has been and is scarce. As a result, water from public water sources may not be available for use in landscaping or other situations unrelated to public health.
Rainwater collection can be a solution to an inability to use public water for landscaping situations. Much rainwater falling on the roof of a house travels to the guttering system and is directed to the street or storm drains. If this water could be collected and stored effectively so as to enable redistribution, it could be collected and stored effectively so as to enable redistribution, it could be used instead of water from public water sources for landscaping uses at any desired time including during times of restricted water usage.
[0004]
Various systems and devices for collecting rainwater exist. US Patent No. D542,885 is a design for a rainwater barrel. US Patent No. 7,048,849 is a first flush rainwater diverter and collection system for use with rainwater storage tanks primarily in domestic situations. US Patent No. 7,025,879 is a rainwater collection apparatus that stores rainwater until required, and includes at least one outlet for exporting rainwater. US Patent No. 6,966,333 is a rainwater collection device for collecting rainwater from a gutter for later usage and includes a storage housing. US
Patent No. 6,941,702 is a rainwater collection and dispensing system for economically conserving water usage by using collected rainwater.
[0005] US
Patent No. 6,832,635 is a rainwater collection apparatus having a tank with a catchment cone above it. US Patent No. 6,818,127 is a rain collection system for collecting and storing rainwater and includes a collection assembly designed for being positioned on a support surface to collect water from the support surface. US Patent No. 6,553,723 is a rainwater collection and storage system to collect and store roof water, the system having water collection slots extending through roof sheets and spaced from the edge of the roof, collection means below the roof sheets to collect the water from at least some of the slots, and at least one tank wall to store the collected water. US Patent No. 5,735,304 is a collection box and method for distributing run-off water utilizing upright sides with an open top for positioning at ground level with an entrance connection for receiving an underground pipe.
[0006] US
Patent No. 5,730,179 is a rainwater collection and distribution apparatus that includes a tank with a water entry portion, a water exit portion, and a water containment portion located between the water entry portion and the water exit portion. US Patent No. 5,490,538 is a device having a branch collar suitable for fitting onto a down pipe and having an orifice coinciding with an orifice in the side of the down pipe so as to collect rainwater from the down pipe. US Patent No.
4,899,400 is a rain-collection pad for ponds having a pan-shaped pad with a horizontal bottom and four vertical, contiguous side walls, with the pad being adapted to float on the exposed surface of a pond.
[0007] Notwithstanding the prior art, there is a need for a system and method for collecting and filtering rainwater from a roof, prior to storing the rainwater in a containment vessel for redistributing the rainwater at a later date. There also is a need for a system and method for avoiding public health hazards associated with the collection of rainwater. The present invention is directed to such needs.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0008] Briefly, the present invention is a system for collecting, redistributing, and filtering rainwater collected from the roof of a structure. An illustrative system for collecting and redistributing rainwater comprises a conventional roofing and guttering system, a collection vessel for storing the rainwater, piping for directing the rainwater from the roofing and guttering system into the collection or containment vessel, and a means for redistributing the collected rainwater. The system also comprises a water filter for filtering debris from the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the containment vessel. Leaves, sticks, and other debris are often found on a roof and are swept into the guttering system during a rainstorm. Such debris can potentially clog the piping of the rainwater collection system and can enter the collection vessel, thus reducing the available volume for rainwater and potentially clogging the functional aspects of the collection vessel, if not removed. The system also can comprise one or more pumps for pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel through the means for redistributing the rainwater.
[0009] The invention also is a method for collecting and redistributing rainwater. More specifically, an illustrative method for collecting and redistributing rainwater comprises the steps of catching rainwater using a conventional roofing and guttering system, piping the rainwater into a collection vessel for storing the rainwater, and redistributing the rainwater from the collection vessel using a means for redistributing the rainwater, such as a hose. The method can further comprise the steps of filtering debris form the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the collection vessel and pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel through the hose.
[0010] The system and method utilizes a conventional roof and guttering system to catch rainwater and direct the rainwater into a storage or collection vessel.
Rainwater falls onto the conventional roof and flows into the guttering system where it is directed to downspouts or down pipes. The downspouts direct the rainwater to a collection vessel, which can be a flexible polyvinylchloride, or other suitable polymer or other material, structure, for storing the rainwater for later use. The collection vessel has an outlet that preferably is connected to a pump for pumping the rainwater out of the collection vessel for use. A hose or other means for redistributing the rainwater can be connected to the pump for redistributing the rainwater in, for example, a garden or to other landscape features. Thus, rainwater can be collected and stored for later use, saving on the cost of purchasing water from a public source, and conserving water.
[0011] Preferably, the collection vessel is located under the home, such as in a crawl space under the home if the home does not have a basement and is not built on a slab. Alternatively, the collection vessel can be located proximal to the home, especially if the home has a basement or is built on a slab. By locating the collection vessel proximal to the home, and therefore proximal to the guttering system, the need for additional piping to direct the rainwater from the downspouts to the collection vessel is reduced.
[0012] A water filter according to the present invention preferably is disposed beneath a downspout of a conventional guttering system of a structure. The water filter comprises a filtration reservoir having a sidewall and a bottom for containing rainwater, with at least one inlet for allowing rainwater to enter the filtration reservoir and at least one outlet communicating with the input piping of the rainwater collection system for carrying filtered rainwater to a collection vessel. An overflow port is operatively connected to overflow piping for allowing excess rainwater to be dispensed on the ground or into a rainwater drainage system. The inlet of the filtration reservoir is fitted with a removable primary grate having a plurality of openings for removing bulk contaminants, such as leaves, twigs, and the like that may be carried with the rainwater through downspouts. The outlet and the overflow port also may be fitted with a secondary grate, also having a plurality of openings to further filter debris and smaller contaminants carried by the rainwater. For water routed to the collection vessel, it is particularly desirable to provide a third stage of filtration via a removable filtration media such that rainwater passes through the filtration media before routing to the input piping via the outlet. The end of the downspout emptying into the water filter also may be fitted with a filter to act as a preliminary filter of the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the filtration reservoir.
[0013] The water filter also can include an overflow drain between the filter inlet and the collection vessel to prevent a water back up in the guttering system, which could lead to water infiltrating the home, water ponding under the home, water damage to the home, and erosion of landscaping proximal to the home.
Additionally, the water filter also can include a water shut-off valve to prevent water from entering the collection vessel. Accordingly, the water filter of the present invention may selectively route the water from the filtration reservoir to the collection vessel for collection and later use, or to the overflow drain for normal disposal on the ground, or to a rainwater drainage system associated with the property.
[0014] An illustrative method for filtering rainwater comprises the steps of catching rainwater using a conventional roofing and guttering system, directing the rainwater via the guttering system to the water filter, filtering the debris from the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the collection vessel, and piping the rainwater into a collection vessel for storing the rainwater. The method can further comprise the steps of bypassing the collection vessel for disposal of rainwater through a groundwater drainage system associated with the property. The method for filtering rainwater can comprise up to several stages of filtration for rainwater routed to the collection system, including up to several stages of direct filtration for rainwater diverted to the overflow system.
[0015]
The invention also can comprise convenience and safety features. In addition to the filter or filters and the overflow drain between the roof and the collection vessel, it further is convenient and safer to include a drain proximal to the collection vessel to remove overflow or leaking water from proximal to the collection vessel, which often is under the home, to a place away from the home where such water cannot do any damage to the home. Additionally, the inclusion of common shut off valves and the like can make the entire system more convenient and safe.
[0016]
Other features, aspects, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals represent like components throughout the several views, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0017]
FIG. 1 is a side view of a structure comprising an embodiment of the invention.
[0018]
FIG. 2 is a rear view of a structure comprising an embodiment of the invention.
[0019]
FIG. 3 is a schematic of a rainwater collection system and the preferred elements of an embodiment of the invention.
[0020]
FIG. 4 is a schematic of an embodiment of the collection vessel feature of the invention showing the use of three vessels in series.
[0021] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the rainwater filter of the invention positioned in a rainwater collection and distribution system.
[0022] FIG. 6 is an isolated perspective view of an embodiment of the rainwater filter of the invention.
[0023] FIG. 7 is a side sectional view of the rainwater filter depicted in FIG. 6.
[0024] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a downspout filter component of the rainwater filter of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
[0025] Referring now to the figures, a rainwater collection and distribution system incorporating preferred embodiments of the invention is shown. FIG. 1 is a side view of a building structure comprising an embodiment of the invention illustrating one manner of attaching the invention to the structure. FIG. 2 is a rear view of a structure comprising an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 3 is a schematic of a rainwater collection system and the preferred elements illustrating the connectivity of the water filter of the present invention. FIG. 4 is a schematic of an embodiment of the collection vessel feature of the invention showing the use of three vessels in series for greater rainwater storage. FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating an embodiment of the rainwater filter of the present invention and a rainwater collection vessel. FIG. 6 is a detailed perspective view of a rainwater filter of the present invention. FIG. 7 is a side sectional view of the rainwater filter depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a downspout filter component of the rainwater filter of the invention to allow pre-filtering of the rainwater entering the filtration reservoir.
[0026] FIG. 1 is a side view of a structure 10 outfitted with a rainwater collection and distribution system illustrating one manner of attaching the water filter 18 of invention to the structure 10 and system. As can be seen, this illustrative embodiment of a rainwater collection and redistribution system comprises a conventional roof 12, a conventional guttering system having gutters 14 and downspouts 16 fitted to the structure, a filter 18 according to the present invention for removing debris from the rainwater R, a collection vessel 20, such as a flexible vessel 20 for storing the rainwater R, input piping 22 for directing the rainwater R
from the filter 18 to the collection vessel 20, output piping 24 for redistributing the rainwater R from the collection vessel 20, and an optional pump 26 for pumping the rainwater R from the collection vessel 20 through the output piping 24 and to the redistribution means.
[0027] For ease of illustration, the building structure 10 shown is a conventional house 90 on a raised foundation so as to have a crawl space 92 under the house 90. In this embodiment, the collection vessel 20 and pump 26 are located under the house 90 in the crawl space 92. However, such placement is not required, such as if the house 90 does not have a crawl space 92, and collection vessel 20 and optional pump 26 can be located in any convenient place near the house. One favorite alternate location is under a deck or decking attached to or proximal to the house. While the filter 18 is shown on the side of the house 90, filter 18 also can be located in the crawl space 92 and/or closer to or further away from the collection vessel 20. However, since the guttering and downspout system and the filter 18 often are not watertight, it is preferable to locate the filter 18 outside and not in the crawl space 92 to avoid unnecessary water leakage into the crawl space 92.
[0028] In the illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 1, output piping 24 fluidly connects collection vessel 20 and/or pump 26 to a spigot 28 attached to the side of the house 90, or other convenient location associated with the property.
Spigot 28 provides a convenient attachment point for a hose 30 for redistributing the rainwater R, such as by spraying the rainwater R on a landscaping feature L.
Alternatively, hose 30 can be connected directly to output piping 24 or pump 26.
[0029] FIG. 2 is another view of the structure 10 illustrating how downspouts 16 can be redirected from a conventional vertical position to converge at filter 18.

Thus, one or more downspouts 16 can be structured or restructured to converge at filter 18, or to connect to cooperative piping to arrive at filter 18.
Alternatively, independent downspouts 16 can lead to independent filters 18, which then could independently direct rainwater R into one or more collection vessels 20.
[0030] FIG. 2 also illustrates a rainwater drainage system that may be associated with the property, in which overflow piping 34, connected to the filter 18 routes excess rainwater R to a culvert or drain pipe 32. An overflow circuit is beneficial in the event filter 18 becomes backed up or clogged, collection vessel 20 is full, or should there be a torrential downpour that exceeds the system's capacity, or for other reasons.
[0031] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, during a rainstorm, rainwater R falls on roof 12 and flows into gutters 14, which in turn direct the rainwater R to downspouts 16.
Rainwater R travels down downspouts 16 through the filter 18 to remove leaves, sticks, and other debris. Rainwater R then travels through input piping 22 into collection vessel 20 for storage. Once in collection vessel 20, rainwater R
can be stored for any length of time, or used immediately.
[0032] Collection vessel 20 can be any storage container of any size.
Preferably, collection vessel 20 is a flexible polyvinylchloride (PVC) or other suitable polymer (or other watertight and flexible material) structure that can inflate as rainwater R enters and deflate as rainwater R leaves. Using a flexible material for a collection vessel 20 has both practical and convenient aspects. Practically, a flexible material can place a certain amount of pressure on the rainwater R in the collection vessel 20, assisting in the removal of the rainwater from the collection vessel 20 by the pump 26. Additionally, a flexible material is less likely to crack if impacted.
Further, a flexible material can be more stable on uneven ground.
Conveniently, a flexible material can be easier to move and store, should one desire or need to do either to the system. Other practical and convenient advantages are known to those of ordinary skill in the art.
[0033] FIG. 3 is a schematic of the preferred elements of a rainwater collection system illustrating the connectivity of the various features of the system in larger detail. In addition to the elements disclosed above and illustrated in FIG. 3, a primary overflow valve 36 and drain 38 can be operatively connected to the collection vessel to remove excess or leaking water from proximal to the collection vessel 20 and the crawl space 92 if the vessel 20 is located there. Such overflow valves 36 and drains 38 are known in the art. Shut-off valve 40 is located between collection vessel 20 and output piping 24 to selectively prevent rainwater R from exiting, or allow rainwater R to leave collection vessel 20. Output piping 24 fluidly connects collection vessel 20 to pump 26, which is fluidly connected to various redistribution means, such as but not limited to hose 30, sprinklers, drip watering lines, water features such as ponds, fountains and waterfalls, and other preferably non-potable requirements.
[0034] After rainwater R has been collected in collection vessel 20, it can be stored for later use or used immediately. Shut-off 40 valve can be opened and pump 26 can pump rainwater R to the selected redistribution means. After the desired quantity of rainwater R has been pumped, or when collection vessel 20 becomes empty, pump 26 can be turned off, shut-off valve 40 can be closed, and collection vessel 20 is ready to receive additional rainwater R. Alternatively, shut-off valve 40 can remain open and collection vessel 20 connected to a drip watering line for continuous drip watering as long as there is rainwater in collection vessel 20. This is especially useful without a pump 26 or with a low pressure continuously running pump 26.
[0035] FIG. 4 is a schematic of an embodiment of the collection vessel 20 feature of the invention showing the use of three collection vessels 20 in series for greater rainwater storage. Thus, it can be seen that one or more collection vessels 20 can be connected in series or parallel to increase the quantity of rainwater stored.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the plurality of collection vessels 20 are arranged in a downhill series such that rainwater R can flow from the first collection vessel 20A, which preferably is the collection vessel 20 closest to the input piping 22, through intermediate collection vessels 20B, and ultimately to the last collection vessel 20C, which preferably is the collection vessel 20 closest to the output piping 24.
[0036] FIGS. 5 through 7 depict an embodiment of a water filter 18 according to the present invention, disposed beneath a downspout 16 of a conventional guttering system. Water filter 18 comprises a filtration reservoir 50 having at least one sidewall, with at least one inlet 51 and at least one outlet 52 communicating with the input piping 22 of the rainwater collection system for carrying filtered rainwater R
to collection vessel 20. An overflow port 54 is operatively connected to overflow piping 34 for communicating partially filtered rainwater to be dispensed on the ground according to the grading and groundwater drainage system of the property, which may include a rainwater drainage system 32.
[0037] The inlet 51 of the filtration reservoir 50 is fitted with a removable primary grate 53 having a plurality of openings 56 for removing bulk contaminants, such as leaves, twigs, and the like that may be carried with the rainwater R
through downspouts 16. Outlet 52 and overflow port 54 may also be fitted with a secondary grate 55, also having a plurality of openings 56 to further filter debris and smaller contaminants carried by the rainwater R. For water routed to the collection vessel 20, it is particularly desirable to provide a third stage of filtration via a removable filtration media 57 such that rainwater R, passes through the filtration media before routing to input piping 22 via outlet 52. Preferably, filtration media 57 should be of a low restriction type to permit high water flow rates to avoid backing up the reservoir 50 during rainy intervals. This will permit filtration of the rainwater R and filling of collection vessel 20 without unnecessarily redirecting water through overflow port 54. In the illustrative embodiment shown, filtration media 57 is depicted in the bottom 58 portion of the filter reservoir 50 and covering outlet 52 upstream of the rainwater R flow. If outlet 52 were disposed through a side wall of filter reservoir 50, filtration media 57 could be arranged vertically, or alternatively have sufficient height or thickness to cover outlet 52 upstream of the rainwater R passing into outlet 52.
[0038] To clean or replace the filtration media 57 of the illustrated embodiment, grate 53 is removed from inlet 51. In reference to FIG. 5, it should be noted that downspout 16 should be positioned so that its bottom end is located above grate 53 by a sufficient distance, leaving a gap, so as to permit lifting and removal of grate 53 from inlet 51. Debris collected within reservoir 50 that is not entrapped in filter media 57 should then be removed from the reservoir 50 in order to avoid it being deposited on the reservoir bottom as filter media 57 is removed. Filter media 57 may then be removed and cleaned or replaced with a new filter media 57. Filter media 57 can be made of any suitable material, including for illustrative purposes meshes and screens, open cell foams, woven and non-woven mats, and the like.
[0039] As will be appreciated from the drawings, placement of the overflow port 54 at an elevated position relative to outlet 52 will facilitate the routing of rainwater R through outlet 52 and into collection vessel 20. Placement of either outlet 52 or overflow port 54 at an elevated position relative to the bottom 58 of filtration reservoir 50, will permit additional filtration of rainwater R, by allowing finer debris and contaminants, such as roofing shingle cinders and the like, to settle from the rainwater flow R and be deposited in the bottom 58 of filtration reservoir 50.
However, in the illustrative embodiment depicted, these particles will be filtered by filtration media 57 before the rainwater R enters input piping 22 and containment vessel 20.
[0040] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, filter 18 includes a collection shut-off valve 59 interposed between outlet 52 and input piping 22.
When filling of the collection vessel 20 is desired, collection shut-off valve 59 is selectively moved to the open position, permitting filtered rainwater to flow through collection valve 59 and inlet piping 22. When the collection vessel 20 is full, or it is otherwise desirable to route the rainwater through the overflow piping 34, shut-off valve 59 may be moved to the closed position. Collection shut-off valve 59 is also advantageous when cleaning the filter reservoir 50 and/or filtration media 57 so as to prevent previously filtered debris, which may become dislodged from filter media 57 when it is removed for cleaning or replacement, from entering the input piping 22 and collection vessel 20.
[0041] According to the illustrated embodiment of the invention shown in FIGs.
6 and 7, it will be appreciated that in the condition where collection vessel 20 is full or where shutoff valve 59 is in a closed position, rainwater R may collect in the filter reservoir 50 below the level of overflow port 54, or outlet 52 if located in a sidewall of reservoir 50. If this water is allowed to remain in the filter reservoir 50, it may stagnate and/or provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Accordingly, a reservoir drain 60 is preferably provided to prevent the accumulation of water in the reservoir 50 and may carry the accumulated water from reservoir 50 into overflow piping 34. A
reservoir drain outlet 61 should be positioned at a point above the drain inlet connection 62 to the overflow piping 34 so that reservoir 50 may be drained by gravity, without the need for an auxiliary pump.
[0042] FIG. 8 depicts an optional downspout filter 70 attached to the lower end of downspout 16 for pre-filtering rainwater R prior to rainwater R passing through primary grate 53 into filtration reservoir 50. Downspout filter 70 preferably is constructed from a flexible mesh or screen, open cell foam, woven or non-woven material, or the like, that will allow a relatively free flow of rainwater R
through it. It is preferable that downspout filter 70 not overly impede the flow of rainwater R
out of downspout 16 so as not to back up rainwater R in downspout 16. It has been found that a flexible mesh screen, such as a mesh sock or bag, is suitable for many installations of the invention. Downspout filter 70 can be attached to downspout 16 in any conventional manner, such as the screws 72 shown on FIG. 8.
[0043] As downspout filter 70 traps debris in the rainwater R, downspout filter may have to be cleaned or changed often, depending on the location of the structure 10. For example, if the structure 10 is located out in the open with no trees nearby, there may be very little debris on the roof 12 to be washed into the downspout 16 and it may not be necessary to clean or change downspout filter 70 often. However, if the structure 10 is located in a wooded area, there may be much debris on the roof 12, such as twigs and leaves, to be washed into the downspout 16 and it may be necessary to clean or change downspout filter 70 often. Alternatively, for structures located in high debris locations, it may be preferably to equip gutters 14 with guards to reduce or prevent debris from washing into gutters 14. In any event, downspout filter 70 is optional and can be included as the circumstances merit.
[0044] Thus, an illustrative embodiment of the filter of the invention is a filter for a rainwater collecting and redistributing system comprising a filter reservoir having an inlet for receiving rainwater; an outlet for communicating filtered rainwater from the filter reservoir to a collection vessel for storing the rainwater; a filtration medium interposed between the inlet and the outlet; and an overflow port for communicating excess water from the filter reservoir to a groundwater drainage system.
Another illustrative embodiment of the filter of the invention is a system for collecting and redistribution comprising a filter reservoir having a first stage filter at an inlet thereof;
an outlet optionally but preferably having a second stage filter therein, the outlet communicating filtered rainwater from the filter reservoir to a collection vessel; an overflow port optionally having a second stage filter therein, the overflow port communicating excess water from the rainwater collecting system to a groundwater drainage system; and a filter reservoir drain, for communicating residual water from the filter reservoir to the groundwater drainage system. Yet another illustrative embodiment of the invention is a system for filtering and collecting rainwater comprising a conventional roofing and guttering system for collecting rain water; a multi-stage filter in communication with the guttering system for filtering debris from the rainwater; a collection vessel for storing the filtered rainwater; and piping for directing the rainwater from the multi-stage filter into a collection vessel.
[0045] The invention further includes a method for collecting and redistributing rainwater R, preferably using the system disclosed herein. An illustrative method for collecting and redistributing rainwater R comprises the steps of catching rainwater R
using a conventional roof 12 and gutter 14 system, piping the rainwater R into a , , collection vessel 20 for storing the rainwater R, and redistributing the rainwater R
from the collection vessel 20. The method further can comprise the step of pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel 20 through a hose 30 or other redistribution means.
[0046] An illustrative embodiment of a method for using the invention is a method comprising the steps of receiving rainwater from a conventional roofing and guttering system through an inlet to a filter reservoir having a first stage filter;
communicating the rainwater through a second stage filtration media contained in the filter reservoir; and communicating the rainwater through an optional third stage filter interposed in an outlet of the filter reservoir to a rainwater collection vessel.
[0047] Typical piping components, such as valves and connectors, are used in the system. Likewise, the piping used in the system is connected together in conventional manners. Additional features, such as system shut-off valves, diverters, and the like also are contemplated. A system shut-off valve (not shown) can be located after the overflow piping 34 on the outside of the house 90 to prevent rainwater R from continuing to the collection vessel 20 in the event of, for example, leaks or ruptures in the input piping 22 or collection vessel 20, or other components of the system, especially underneath the house 90 or in the crawl space 92.
This would cause the rainwater R to divert to the overflow piping 34 and drain pipe 32 and away from the house 90. Other diverters (not shown) also can be included to divert the rainwater R in various directions and to various components as desired or necessary.

Claims (12)

1. A system for collecting and redistributing rainwater comprising:
a) a conventional roofing and guttering system;
b) a collection vessel for storing the rainwater, wherein the collection vessel is a flexible bladder;
c) a filter for filtering debris from the rainwater prior to the rainwater being stored in the collection vessel, wherein the filter is disposed beneath a downspout of the conventional roofing and guttering system, and the filter comprises:
i) a filter reservoir having an inlet for receiving rainwater;
ii) an outlet for communicating filtered rainwater from the filter reservoir to the collection vessel for storing the rainwater;
iii) a filtration medium interposed between the inlet and the outlet;
and d) piping for directing the rainwater from the conventional roofing and guttering system into the collection vessel.
2. The system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a pump for pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel for redistribution.
3. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the rainwater is redistributed to a landscaping area.
4. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the filter further comprises an overflow port for communicating excess water from the filter reservoir to a groundwater drainage system.
5. The system as claimed in claim 4, wherein:
a) the filter outlet comprises a second stage filter therein, the outlet communicating filtered rainwater from the filter reservoir to the collection vessel;
b) the overflow port comprises a second stage filter therein, the overflow port communicating excess water from the rainwater collecting system to a groundwater drainage system; and c) the filter further comprises a filter reservoir drain, for communicating residual water from the filter reservoir to the groundwater drainage system.
6. The system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the inlet is fitted with a removable primary grate having a plurality of openings for removing bulk contaminants that are carried by the rainwater.
7. The system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the outlet is fitted with a secondary grate having a plurality of openings for filtering debris and smaller contaminants that are carried by the rainwater.
8. The system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the overflow port is fitted with a secondary grate having a plurality of openings for filtering debris and smaller contaminants that are carried by the rainwater.
9. A method for collecting and redistributing rainwater comprising the steps of:
a) catching rainwater using a conventional roofing and guttering system;
b) piping the rainwater into a collection vessel for storing the rainwater, wherein the collection vessel is a flexible bladder;
c) filtering debris from the rainwater coming from a downspout of the conventional roofing and guttering system in a filter comprising a filter reservoir prior to piping the rainwater into the collection vessel for storing the rainwater, wherein the filter reservoir comprises a first stage filter for filtering debris from the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the filter reservoir, and passing the rainwater through the first stage filter prior to the rainwater entering the filter reservoir; and d) redistributing the rainwater from the collection vessel.
10. The method as claimed in claim 9, further comprising the step of pumping the rainwater from the collection vessel to a means for redistributing the rainwater prior to redistributing the rainwater from the collection vessel.
11. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein the filter reservoir further comprises a second stage filter for filtering debris from the rainwater prior to the rainwater entering the collection vessel, and passing the rainwater through the second stage filter prior to the rainwater entering the collection vessel.
12. The method as claimed in claim 11, further comprising a third stage filter interposed in an outlet of the filter reservoir to the collection vessel, and passing the rainwater through the third stage filter prior to the rainwater entering the collection vessel.
CA 2711427 2007-11-30 2008-10-13 Rainwater collection and redistribution system Expired - Fee Related CA2711427C (en)

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US99123007P true 2007-11-30 2007-11-30
US60/991,230 2007-11-30
US9760708P true 2008-09-17 2008-09-17
US61/097,607 2008-09-17
PCT/US2008/079714 WO2009070388A1 (en) 2007-11-30 2008-10-13 Rainwater collection and redistribution system

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