If you analyse a lot of newly-built government-funded buildings, you’ll probably notice that most are branded with rainwater harvesting systems. Schools in particular have made use of this water-saving mechanism although in the midst of all of the electricity saving ideas, it seems to have been forgotten for domestic houses.
However, there’s no doubt that rainwater harvesting is viable for the standard home. Furthermore, when it is compared to other green options it is regarded as a much cheaper solution – as we take a look at several frequently asked questions that homeowners often pose whilst trying to make a decision on these systems.
What is a rainwater harvesting system?
A rainwater harvesting system is exactly what it says on the tin, as the saying goes. It collects rainwater from around your property, mostly the roof area, and stores it for future use. Unfortunately, unless you invest in a system which incorporates a filter, you won’t be able to use the harvested water to drink. However, it is regarded as being much softer than the standard water that comes out of your taps, meaning that it is highly suited to washing clothes.
How does it work?
The harvesting process begins by rain accumulating on the roof, with
this gradually making its way down the rainwater goods such as the guttering and downpipes. This pipework leads it to an underground storage tank – which is responsible for storing all of the water that is going to be reused. The water will also go through a minor filtering process prior to entering the tank, with this designed to filter out significant debris such as leaves and dirt.
Once the water has been stored, it is ready to be used when requested. A pump, like the ones you can see by clicking here, is attached to the tank and responsible for distributing it back towards the house. It is actually pumped towards a component named the controlling unit – with this then targeting the appliances in the property which require the water. In most cases, the pipework will lead to the toilet, washing machine or external taps.
What are the costs and financial benefits?
With a lot of green options costing thousands of pounds to install, rainwater harvesting systems actually don’t hit the pocket too significantly. On average, you can expect to pay around £2,500, although the final figure largely depends on the size of your home and just which appliances you are planning to use the harvested water with.
If you are on a water meter, the general advice is that it will not take very long at all to recoup your initial cost. Most households will shave up to £300 per year from their water bills, which is around 50% from the total annual bill. Of course, for unmetered houses the savings are not quite as impressive but if you are planning to stay in your home for a significant period of time, it could still prove to be a very worthwhile investment.