Indoor, Non-Potable Rainwater Harvesting System Operation and Maintenance Manual



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Indoor, Non-Potable Rainwater Harvesting System

Operation and Maintenance Manual

This manual shall remain with the building throughout the life-cycle of the structure.


Prepared for:

Insert Address


Rainwater Harvesting System Installer(s)

Insert Installer Name(s) and Contact Information


Installation Date:

Insert Date


System Use:

Describe fixtures supplied to rainwater harvesting piping

This operations and maintenance manual outlines the responsibilities of the system owner/operator and explains maintenance guidelines for the rainwater harvesting system components. The owner/operator is responsible for:



  • Reading the owner’s manual specific to each system component

  • Following a maintenance plan

  • Replacing broken equipment

Attachments include:



  • An as-built diagram of the rainwater harvesting system and location of system components.

  • Manufacturer specifications for the cistern

  • Owner’s manual for the pump and controls

  • Owner’s manual for sediment filtration

  • Insert other applicable specifications for disinfections systems, first flush devices, etc.


System Start Up

Insert specific start-up instructions
System Shut Down

Insert specific shut-down instructions
Description of Components and Recommended Maintenance Frequencies
Gutters & Downpouts

To maximize water quality, gutters must be inspected and all materials, especially organic matter, must be removed frequently.




Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Inspect and clear leaves, organic matter, algae, mold, sediment and asphalt particles from the roof, gutters and downspouts

Every 3-6 months

Flush gutters with water to remove sediment and debris

Once a year – Before rainy season

Remove tree branches and vegetation overhanging roof collection surfaces

As needed

Inspect and repair loose hardware, connections, and sagging gutter sections

Once a year – Before rainy season



Debris screen

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
A debris screen of 1/16” maximum mesh is required as the first line of defense to prevent leaves, twigs, carcasses, and other large debris from entering the cistern. If not cleaned often, gutters may become blocked, water will be wasted, and decomposing debris will be more likely to enter the cistern.

Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Inspect and clean all debris screens and replace (if necessary)

Every 3 months and/or after every major rain storm



Roof Washer and First Flush Diverter

Delete this section if not applicable

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
Roof washers and first flush diverters are an optional second line of defense against contamination after debris screens. These devices trap sediment and organic matter and should be cleaned monthly according to the manufacturers specifications to ensure that dirty water is not sitting in piping.

Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Inspect and clean clogged drain outlets and plugged screens.

Monthly



Cistern

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
Several features of the cistern and piping components should be checked. The tank foundation should be inspected for cracking, erosion, and settling and repaired as needed. Because cisterns may crack, they should be checked for water leaking in or out. Vent screens should be inspected for nesting animals and other blockages. Internal tank features such as floats should be checked regularly to ensure that they are working properly and that associated tubing is not cracked or broken.


Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Inspect water inside the cistern. Use a pool sweep to collect large debris that have entered the cistern.

Every 3 months (more frequently if a debris screen has been repaired, clogged, or broken)

Inspect cistern base to ensure stability, slope and drainage

Every 3 months

Inspect cistern locking devices

Every 3 months

Check for leaking water at cistern inlets and outlets

Every 3 months



Cistern Cleaning Procedure1

A cistern is a confined space. It can be deadly to enter confined spaces such as tanks or cisterns without proper training and equipment. If a confined space must be entered, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations must be followed.


When warranted by tank conditions such as accumulation of large amounts of debris and pollutants from pre-tank filter failure or large storms, the cistern can be cleaned by thoroughly washing it and applying a water/chlorine mixture to all surfaces according the following procedure:

  1. Clean and remove debris from the roof catchment area, gutters, debris screens, and downspouts.

  2. Disconnect/lock out all electrical devices.

  3. Remove all debris and water from the cistern.

  4. Follow OSHA confined space entry procedures. NEVER enter a tank without an observer present.

  5. Wear protective equipment: goggles, rubber boots, and a chemical suit.

  6. Make sure the area is well ventilated before using chlorine.

  7. Scrub the inside of the cistern with a stiff brush and a solution of 1 cup of unscented liquid household bleach (5%-6%) mixed with 10 gallons (about 38 liters) of water.

  8. Allow the sprayed surface to dry

  9. Rinse the tank thoroughly until the debris and chlorine are gone. Effluent from the rinsing should be directed toward the sanitary sewer or a mulched, un-landscaped area and should NEVER enter a storm drain.

  10. Document the cleaning process, date, chemicals, used, and ratio of water to bleach.


Piping and Connections

Plastic pipes and fittings should be checked for cracks, leaks, and deformation. When any damaged component or fitting is replaced the piping should be inspected continuously until it is determined there are no leaks. PVC plastic exposed to sunlight can degrade and become brittle and yellow. All exposed PVC piping should be painted with a latex paint designed for PVC.



Sediment Filters

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
Filters are designed to keep particles larger than 100 microns from entering the indoor fixture supply lines. As the surface of the filter becomes clogged with particles, the water flow is hampered and the pressure drops. Water pressure gauges installed on the upstream and downstream sides of a filter indicate a drop in pressure. This drop signals that filter maintenance is needed.

Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Clean sediment filter

Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Replace sediment filter

Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Inspect sediment filter

Monthly



Pump

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
Under most circumstances, electric motors last for years without needing replacement. Pre-mature pump failure can be caused by multiple starts within a short period of time or lack of water in the pump housing. Follow the attached manufacturer’s recommendations for pump maintenance and troubleshooting.

Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Inspect pump systems and valves and verify operation

Once a year



Ultraviolet Disinfection System

Insert Manufacturer - Model #
A UV light bulb operates continuously, regardless of water flow rate, and has an expected lifespan. Because continuous operation produces heat, the UV components ma become hot to the touch during prolonged periods of no flow.

Change the UV bulb every year, or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. The intensity of the ultraviolet bulb diminishes over time and is not noticeable by inspection.


After replacing the bulb according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, replace all covers and flood the UV device before turning on the light. Be sure that all air bubbles are removed to prevent the bulb from overheating.
The clear tubing that houses the UV light needs to be wiped down with a lint-free cloth on occasion, at least quarterly, depending on the rate of build up. Tube cleaning and bulb replacement should be documented

.


Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Change UV bulb

Once a year or Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Clean tubing

Every 3 months



System Maintenance Summary

Review and delete unnecessary items


Task Description

Minimum Frequency

Flush gutters with water to remove sediment and debris

Annually – Before rainy season

Inspect gutters and downspouts and repair loose hardware, connections, and sagging gutter sections

Annually – Before rainy season

Inspect pump systems and valves and verify operation

Annually

Change UV bulb

Annually or Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Inspect caution labels and signage

Annually

Backflow and cross connection test

Annually

Inspect and remove leaves, organic matter, algae, mold, sediment and asphalt particles from the roof, gutters and downspouts

Every 3-6 months

Remove tree branches and vegetation overhanging roof collection surfaces

As needed

Inspect and clean all debris screens and replace (if necessary)

Every 3 months and/or after every major rain storm

Inspect water inside the cistern. Use a pool sweep to collect large debris that have entered the cistern.

Every 3 months (more frequently if a debris screen has been repaired, clogged, or broken)

Inspect cistern base to ensure stability, slope and drainage

Every 3 months

Inspect cistern locking devices

Every 3 months

Check for leaking water at cistern inlets and outlets

Every 3 months

Clean UV tubing

Every 3 months

Clean sediment filter

Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Replace sediment filter

Insert Manufacturers recommendations

Inspect sediment filter

Monthly

Inspect and clean clogged drain outlets and plugged screens on first flush device

Monthly

Other?




Other?




Other?




Other?






1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010, www.cdc.gov


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