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    Guide to
    rainwater harvesting

    Rainwater harvesting is an increasingly popular solution used by businesses and homeowners alike as a way to reduce the amount of mains water they consume. Offering economic and environmental benefits, the process of harvesting rainwater that falls onto a property includes collecting, storing and then reusing the water for a range of purposes that would otherwise use water from the mains supply.

    Environmental awareness has grown significantly over recent years. However, hereís one key fact you may not be aware of. By 2025, 66% of the world population could live in water-stressed conditions. Itís not the infinite resource we sometimes imagine it to be. This is why rainwater harvesting is important.

    Water is also an increasingly costly resource, leading to a surge in interest in ways to cut water supply bills. So letís take a closer look at the advantages offered by harvesting rainwater, how this water can be used and what equipment youíll need, whether you are an individual homeowner or a business seeking to manage water more frugally.

    what is rainwater
    harvesting & collection?

    The above worrying statistic comes from a Government overview of water treatment in the UK, published in 2015 about the UK water industry and the investments being made in pioneering technologies to find new sources of water.

    To put this in context, the UK already has a system of water mains and sewers that would stretch to the moon and back. The 20 water utility companies spend £5.85 billion annually maintaining complex systems to gather and treat wastewater and make it fit for public use. All of which arrives at private homes and companies along with hefty bills for water and sewage services. Yet, for many individuals and organisations, there is a simple way to make a difference, reducing both bills and the pressure on public water supply.

    Investing in equipment that gathers rainwater, stores it, and makes reusing it convenient and beneficial is a great way to reduce both the costs associated with water use, and the environmental impact of using this water. Harvesting rainwater means putting water that would otherwise go down the drain, evaporate or soak away to good use. This does generally involve more than simply purchasing a vessel to catch rain though. To harvest rain effectively, you need a specialist system that optimises its potential.

    what is involved
    in rainwater harvesting?

    Clearly, people need the assurance of clean drinking water, and water to cook with. However, many of the ways we use water on a daily basis donít need to involve a heavily treated version.

    Rather than relying completely on water that has been chemical treated and pumped for miles, you can use rainwater that is freely available. As long as you have the correct equipment, including an underground storage tank and a pump system to produce filtered, soft and limescale-free water.

    As most rainwater harvesting equipment sits largely below ground, the water you collect will be kept cool and away from light and bacteria. This also means that once installed, there will be little disruption to above ground space such as gardens.

    what are the benefits
    Of rainwater harvesting?

    The primary benefits that rainwater harvesting systems offer include reducing environmental impact and the possibility of reducing water bills. There are other good reasons to invest in rainwater collection equipment and harvesting systems as well.

    Reducing costs

    By harvesting rainwater, the water that is used for a range of tasks such as cleaning, washing and irrigating a garden or other outdoor space can be almost completely offset. In fact, it's possible to reduce metered water costs by around 50% using rainwater harvesting.

    increasing sustainability

    Harvesting rainwater means that a significant proportion of the water consumed by a property does not need to come from the mains supply. This could lead to a reduction in the amount of processing of water that is required by water companies, and also means that mains water can be prioritised for drinking and other important uses, reducing the impact on the planet and the pressure to maintain supply with increasing demand.

    ease of use

    Rainwater systems are easy to install and maintain. Once installed, systems for gathering free water are easy to look after and should give many years of trouble free use, providing a backup supply when thereís interruption to local water supplies.

    water supply for gardens

    Another advantage of rainwater harvesting is never having to worry about hosepipe bans again. If a ban comes into place in the UK, which often happens when there is a water shortage during the summer, homeowners will have access to enough water to ensure their gardens, lawns and vegetable patches can be taken care of.

    reducing flooding

    By harvesting rainwater, homeowners are also able to minimise flooding, or rainwater pooling, around their property. During rainy seasons, collecting rainwater from a harvesting system or in water storage tanks can help to reduce garden floods.

    a backup supply

    Between April 2019 and March 2020, the UK recorded 47,000 water pipe bursts. This not only reduced access to water, but it also resulted in an average of 2,954 million litres leaking away per day! By installing rainwater harvesting systems, homeowners would have that crucial backup supply.

    common ways to use collected
    rainwater

    The uses of harvested rainwater are highly diverse, including flushing your toilet. You can also use it to water your garden, wash vehicles and refill fish ponds and outdoor swimming pools for example. The lack of chemicals in this water supply can make it more beneficial for plants and animals.†

    Some people use filtered rainwater in washing machines too, and report that they need less detergent due to how soft it is. Itís perfect for jet washing, and companies find rainwater especially valuable for washing down yards, fleet vehicles and floors, or for industrial processes that rely on the force of water, rather than its drinkability.

    Rainwater Harvesting And Collection:
    systems & equipment

    Investing in the right equipment for rainwater harvesting provides you with an ample supply of filtered water, that is colourless, odourless and clean. This is important, as you can't simply gather Ďgrey waterí thatís been used for other purposes, or water that has pooled on hard standing or passed through gutters, for example.

    To ensure that you have a rainwater system that works efficiently and safely, you need the right system and water tanks for harvesting, collection and storing rainwater at your premises.

    Rainwater Harvesting Systems

    Rainwater harvesting systems offer a complete solution for highly efficient collection, storage and distribution of rainwater for use when required. These systems include durable MDPE one piece tanks that are easy to install, available in capacities ranging from 1500 litres to 5800 litres to suit requirements. Harvesting systems also include pumps and integrated gravity systems to distribute water as required, including to toilets, washing machines or hose pipes for irrigation or cleaning. Highly efficient, silent in use and specifically designed to reduce wear on internal components for enhanced lifespan, a rainwater harvesting system provides a simple, all in one solution for reducing mains water consumption at a property.

    Rainwater Collection Tanks

    If you do not require a complete rainwater harvesting system but wish to collect and store water, the range of rainwater collection tanks available at Northern Tank Store include a number of durable and high-quality options. These tanks have a wide range of uses and are designed to provide many years of service. Whether you want to use an alternative storage system for rainwater harvesting, car washing, or window cleaning, rainwater collection tanks are ideal and are available in a range of capacities to meet various requirements. Collection tanks can also be used to contain other liquids, including chemicals as well as both potable and non potable water.

    Rainwater Storage Tanks

    Available in a wide range of capacities to suit both domestic and commercial applications, rainwater storage tanks offer a reliable way to store water for extended periods of time. Above ground tanks are typically constructed from durable MDPE and can be used to store water for cleaning, gardening or for other agricultural or industrial uses. Tanks are available in potable or non potable options, depending on whether drinking water is to be stored, and offer a number of installation and configuration options to meet requirements.


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