Rainwater harvesting is not a new concept; for years many people have attached water butts to their household guttering systems to collect water for gardening.
Modern techniques allow us to take this further, making rainwater harvesting suitable for use within the home for applications such as toilet cisterns, washing machines, even bathing and drinking. With constantly escalating costs of water, this solution helps to cut costs and can have environmental benefits.
Water that falls on flat, hard surfaces such as roofing or car parks which is ordinarily wasted, is funnelled into a filtration system which subsequently channels the water into storage (in most cases this will be underground).
Once gathered, water reserves inside the tank will be pumped back into the household’s main water supply, as and when needed, as the primary supply of water. If this water runs out, the supply will revert back to a traditional mains connection.
Ordinarily this storage system will contain approximately 20 days worth of water, to cover the user for periods without rainfall.
It is estimated that the average household could save around 50% of their water consumption by installing a rainwater harvesting system.
This system is relatively simpe to install and incorporates your existing gutters and fallpipes.
Rainwater harvesting is a low-maintenance technology and things such as the underground storage tanks have an exceptionally long life. Cleaning of the filters requires around five minutes work every three months.
Depending on your area, by collecting water during rainy seasons you can help to provide a buffer which reduces the stress on local flood plains and therefore lessens environmental impact.
In addition to this, rainwater harvesting can reduce the demands on mains supplies which can have a high environmental impact in terms of fuel and resources used during maintenance of pipes and dams.
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