The idea of rainwater harvesting as a way of saving water has been around for a long time; however, with increased pressure to go green, it has become more popular of late. You can gather rainwater when it is plentiful and use it at other times, but you might be surprised to find these are not always the times you would most expect and that rainwater is not just for watering the garden.
Traditionally we associate the month of April with showers; however, in recent years it has been one of the driest months of the year in the UK. If you have been collecting rainwater through the winter months, April is the time when you may have to think about using it in earnest.
You can collect rainwater as it runs off the roof. In the past this has been done using a water butt so that the contents can be used in the garden; however, nowadays it is possible to collect the water in a plastic tank or cistern. It is also possible to collect the surface water that runs off from drives and patios and use it for a variety of domestic purposes.
Why rainwater harvesting?
Using rainwater for the garden is popular and ideal for this purpose; however, it can be used for a range of other purposes, from flushing the toilet to washing the car or even running the washing machine. You can use a pump to move the contents of your rainwater system to where it is needed.
In a previous blog post we looked at rainwater harvesting using the Grundfos range of pumps, and there are a number of advantages to doing this. Now that many homes have metered water, harvesting rainwater gives you an extra source of water for free, which means you can save on your household budgets. It also means you are not wasting clean, drinkable water on tasks such as watering the garden or hosing down the patio.
Using a pump
Collecting rainwater via a butt usually involves a degree of manual labour to make use of the collected water. If you want to make more general use of your free rainwater or surface water, then some kind of pumped system is needed.
Rather than using a domestic shower booster pump, there are specialised rainwater options available such as the KSB Hya-Rain Rainwater Harvesting Pumps. These are electrically powered and are ideal for feeding irrigation and sprinkler systems and for pumping water into the house for other uses, such as flushing the lavatory.
The unpredictable nature of rainfall means you may not always have a supply available when you need it, of course, such as those recent dry Aprils. You do not need to worry, however, as harvesting systems can be designed with a mains water backup to ensure that your system won’t run dry.
If you are keen to save on your water bills and do your bit for the environment, it makes sense to consider the advantages of harvesting rainwater.