Here is a picture of my simplest rainwater collector. Again, it is a 6 x 10 piece of plastic spread over a frame with a rock in it and a hole off-center, with a coffee filter and funnel underneath catching the water into a five gallon Absopure bottle set in a trough for overflow or any we miss. The edges of the plastic are rolled in dowels and a staple gun secures the system up to about a fifty mph wind. Pouring the trough water through the funnel manually takes more time. A graphite or charcoal filter would help. The hole off center collects anything solid and heavy, and pouring off the top when it is full, or overfilling the bottle, clears off anything that floats, but we get very few impurities. I collected 11 gallons in the storm before last, before the headwind of the one after that blew a frame board aside. I would like to start a company of water inventions, but cannot even afford a patent, so I am trying to find an investor or someone who will give me the twenty percent of profits usual for a good invention. But mostly, I want people to do it and have clean water!
I have seven different models based on this idea, all patentable inventions. The second is to sew a filter pocket onto the plastic collector. The third is to make the same shape out of sheet metal like a coffee table with a top that opens and closes to keep it clean between rains. A fourth is to make interlocking plastic sections about 4 x 4 that flow into one another and are set in the ground with stakes. A fifth is made of granite like a counter top, but shaped to collect water. A sixth is out of formed mortar, and a seventh is a sculpture out of stone such as marble. Different materials like cotton are being considered for the first and simplest model. The shapes must be cleanable, and this is the great advantage compared to roof rainwater collection. 60 square feet yields enough drinking water for one person, (including 3/4 gallon per day for coffee!). I would like to test my water, but again, it appears quite clean or, pristine. If the plastic is left out, it must be washed before a rain.
Again, I am watching the people of Flint cart bottled water and drink leaden tap water. They did not even figure out to use rain barrels for washing and bathing water. They first must run the rainwater through the ground, down the river, through the pipes, then the filter. These inventions could supplement our bottled water delivery system, already over-taxed. Finally, if the system could be kept clean, this could be done in a big way, even on the roof of the factory where they bottle drinking water. Bottled rainwater would surely sell because of the beauty of the idea. Our water problems are only beginning, with road salt melting the pipes and many areas poisoned for groundwater. But there is no reason first to run the water through the ground, if only we filter it as the ground once did. Thirty percent of the world lacks clean drinking water, and how many there watch the rain go into the gutters and dirty ponds, then try to drink it?