Recent news has documented the stormy weather causing flooding in many areas in the UK, with water resources in the UK also under pressure from climate change. The UK Climate Change Act 2008 has set a target to reduce UK emissions by at least 80% by 2050. One of the sustainable ways these targets can be met is by promoting water saving devices, to help with the pressures on the UK’s water resources.
Rainwater harvesting is one of the simplest methods of self-supply of water for households and has a big role to play in slowing down the flow of stormwater and helping to prevent floods and in particular overflow from sewers.
The concept of rainwater harvesting is to collect rainwater from the roofs of your houses, garages and other structures into a tank which will filter and store it. This can then be reused for flushing toilets, washing machines and domestic heating, as well as watering your garden. With mains water in the UK being high quality, rainwater is actually better for your plants.
Rainwater harvesting systems can range in complexity, from systems that can be installed with minimal skills, to automated systems that require advanced setup and installation. This includes the ability to connect to a weather app which uses your location to determine if there has been sufficient rainfall and won’t water your plants if they don’t need it.
The majority of these systems include an underground storage tank somewhere in the garden to store the collected rainwater. Keeping the rainwater storage out of direct sunlight helps maintain the water clarity and avoids early degradation. Tanks are sized to meet the water demand required during the dry periods and large enough to contain all the captured rainfall. A mains backup system is also required to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply to the consumer whenever there is a shortage of rainwater.
Mains water consumption can be reduced by up to 50% using a rainwater harvesting system, saving on water bills and making it a financial investment worth making for householders.
We have integrated rainwater harvesting systems into several of our new build residential projects. This has included full irrigation systems for drip feeding plants as well as being used to flush toilets and operate washing machines.