- Why Harvest Rainwater?
Why Harvest Rainwater?
Fresh water is an increasingly scarce and expensive resource. Droughts, as well as floods, are forecast to become more frequent. Continued housebuilding coupled with changing rainfall patternswill result in greater demands on our water infrastructure, and hosepipe bans now seem inevitable for future years.
For many everyday uses we don't need to use expensive purified drinking water.
Rainwater can be collected as it falls onto roofs and stored for use in the home or the garden. This helps reduce flooding as well as saving precious treated mains water.
Since rainwater has no chlorine in it, it is great for garden watering and irrigation. Animals too prefer to drink rainwater.
Some good reasons for harvesting rainwater:
- Reduced water costs - rainwater is free!
- Can have a lower Embodied Energy - saves pumping water from deep underground.
- Immune to hosepipe bans - water your garden all year round.
- No minerals - no limescale, increased appliance life and reduced cleaning.
- No Chlorine - ideal for fish tanks or ponds.
Where can rainwater be used?
Rainwater collected from roofs is ideal for use in:
- Washing machines
- Toilet flushing
- Garden watering
- Car washing
- Washing down machinery
Rainwater is suitable for any non-potable water uses.
How to collect rainwater
Rainwater can be collected and stored safely using our proven 4 step cleaning system:
With good planning and the right components a rainwater system can be largely maintenance free. The rainwater quality is ideal for many uses in both the home and the workplace. A professional system will always use a 4 cleaning step system whether it is in an underground storage tank or an above ground water storage tank:
The first cleaning step in the rainwater system is the filter. The rainwater flows from the roof to the filter. Here dirt particles and debris are separated from the water. The cleaned water flows to the tank. The dirt is washed to waste or to soakaway. There are many different filters, suitable for different roof areas, with various working principles and connection possibilities to allow for their use in many different installation situations.
2. Calmed Inlet.
The second cleaning step takes place at the bottom of the storage tank. Any denser-than-water fine particles settle to the bottom of the tank. The rainwater Calmed Inlet prevents any disturbance of this sedimentation layer. At the same time the Calmed Inlet ensures that oxygenated water is introduced to the lower layers of the stored water in the tank. This oxygen rich water prevents anaerobic conditions in the storage tank - ensuring that the water always stays fresh.
More information about our range of Calmed Inlets.
3. Overflow Siphon.
Any particles that are lighter than water (e.g. flower pollen) float slowly to the water surface. Well designed Overflow Siphons, with a skimming effect, remove any floating particles. Regular overflow from the storage tank is important to get the optimum water quality. It prevents souring of the water. The floating layer could otherwise build up over time, and so reduce oxygen diffusion at the water surface. Low oxygen diffusion can lead to anaerobic reducing conditions in the tank, and this is associated with a bad smell to the water when used.
Find out more information about our range of Overflow Siphons.
4. Floating Pump Intake.
The Pump Intake floats at all times, suspended just below the water surface where the cleanest water lies. From this position the cleanest water is extracted by the pump. A ball float, filled with air, suspends the intake, which has a further filter and a check valve to prevent backflow of water into the tank.
More information about our range of Floating Pump Intakes.
Building a house?
Rainwater harvesting can help in obtaining planning permission by demonstrating a more sustainable design with lower carbon footprint, lower demand on already over-subscribed water pumping stations, and lower stormwater drain loading via the attenuation of runoff water during heavy rainfall, which also reduces flooding.
For barns, field shelters, etc, rainwater can be collected right at the point of use. Producing instant saving over the cost of installing pipework over distances.
For more information and latest news why not visit the Environment Agency Website.