Droughts are increasing. Period. All over the world. More and more we need to consider capturing rainwater to use not only in our gardens, but in our houses. In most places in the US, capturing water for potable uses is not allowed. Some exceptions are California, Texas, Atlanta and a growing number of cities.
One of our most recent houses, the Haw River House, has a graceful butterfly roof sheltering the main living space inside. Its purpose is for more than shelter, however.
The site is remote and harsh. The existing well provides less than 1 gallon per minute. Power outages in the area are common. For all these reasons, a PV system and rooftop water collection became imperatives.
With a massive carefully designed gutter leading to downspouts on each end of the house, the butterfly roof funnels 100 percent of the rainwater that falls on it into two massive above-ground cisterns leading to triple filtering system including a UV system to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that may appear in rainwater. The local health department has never approved a potable water system before. They have approved the project’s gray water collection and will graduate the system into a potable water source once a few months of monitoring data prove that the quality of the water exceeds local well water.