Rainwater harvesting: isn't it just a large water butt?
Posted by Barry Nutley on 8 January 2009 at 11:40 am
For many people, the idea of collecting rainwater, doesn't seem as sexy as, say, solar, and I know from personal experience, it's not a conversation for a first date. But it is just as important as solar and other renewable energy technologies.
For my first blog, rather than write an essay on rainwater harvesting, I will start by answering some common questions. Please do leave comments and questions.
So to answer the question "isn't it just a large water butt?". Well,fundamentally, the answer is yes, but typically much larger, and with more uses.
What does it do?
Simply collects rainwater, which can then be used for non-potable uses, such as toilet flushing, washing machine, and of course garden irrigation. A typical, correctly installed system will provide water to these areas, on demand, automatically, assuming there is water in the tank. If there isn't water in the tank, the system reverts to mains water.
It's always raining in England, why should I bother?
The population is growing, and according to The Environment Agency, many parts of England are considered to have "serious levels of water stress". This includes London, the South East, and East of England. So whilst it is always raining in England, we still have a duty to save it where possible.
What is it going to save me?
As with all renewable energy technologies, this depends largely on the individual application. But if you consider that the average person uses 150 litres of water a day, and around half of this is for non-potable uses, then potentially it could halve your supplied water bill.
But that's not much
If you're on a water meter, then the financial savings will be higher. Your waste water bill is based on your supplied water. Therefore, if you use less water, then (as far as your water company is concerned), your waste water bill will be less in proportion. Also, don't forget the positive impact on the environment.
Is it right for me?
While almost any property will gain something, there may be more cost effective options. Retro-fitting can be costly, but if you are building an extension or conservatory, or landscaping your garden, then it's certainly something to consider.
So that's the first blog post. There are, of course, many other facts and figures which I will leave for another time, or if you just can't wait, please send me a message.
Photo by aussiegall
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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