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Water harvesting treatment evaluation at granite reef

Fink, Dwayne H., Frasier, Gary W., Myers, Lloyd E.
Water resources bulletin. 1979 v.15 no.3 pp. 861
alkanes, artificial membranes, atmospheric precipitation, cracking, gravel, infiltration (hydrology), polyethylene, runoff, silicone, site preparation, water harvesting, watersheds, weathering
Yearly runoff efficiencies (total runoff/total precipitation), threshold retentions (precipitation needed to initiate runoff), and runoff-efficiencies-after-thresholds were determined for several water-harvesting catchment treatments at the Granite Reef test site. This information was found to be useful for showing (1) overall performance of catchments with time; (2) the distribution of the precipitation among runoff, surface retention, and infiltration; (3) why, how, and when certain treatments weathered and failed; (4) when to repair treatments; and (5) how to design catchments (size, site preparation, material selection, etc.). New impermeable membranes with smooth surfaces yielded nearly 100% of the precipitation. An asphalt-fiberglass treatment continues this high efficiency after 10 years of weathering – polyethylene after 8; efficiency of butyl sheeting was high initially but decreased rapidly after 9 years weathering. A standard roofing treatment retained up to 30% of the precipitation in the gravel covering. A concrete catchment lost as much as 50% of the total precipitation through micropores and surface cracks. Silicone treatments rapidly lost repellancy and efficiency, while paraffin treatments have weathered 5 years with little loss of efficiency.