Rainwater harvesting is the collection, storage and re-use of rainwater, which is collected via rooftops and stored for later use. Rainwater can be collected from gutters and then be stored in your choice of vessel to either be used in the garden or household. Although there are currently no UK regulations with regards to using rainwater for dishwashers, toilets and gardens, back-ups from the mains must meet standard regulations.
Types of harvesting
Water Butt – This is the simplest method of collecting water. A Rainsava can be purchased and connected to your downpipe to divert water directly into the water butt; this water can then be used to water your garden via a watering can.
Rain harvesting system – As with the water butt, rainwater is collected via your roof top but is taken via pipes to a storage tank which is usually kept underground. Filters remove leaves and other debris from the water while floating debris is removed via an overflow pipe. The cheapest option is to then have the water pumped directly to your appliances or it can be pumped to your loft tank.
Energy Switcheroo explains the benefits of harvesting rainwater
- Rainwater is a completely free source of water.
- You have control over your water supply and can choose whether or not rainwater is used as your main water supply or as a back up.
- Recycling rainwater is good for the environment and is better for plants and grass as it contains no chlorine.
- The process for harvesting rainwater is straightforward and relatively cheap.
- Rainwater is better for washing your clothes as it is soft and does not require as much detergent.