Why harvest rain water?
The popularity of rainwater harvesting systems has grown rapidly in recent years, and for all sorts of good reasons. Millions of families are now facing higher water bills as more water companies are fitting water meters in homes - governement ministers are increasingly concerned that reservoirs are at risk of running dry and according to one report in the Telegraph (August 10, 2013) "water companies across a third of the country will be required to consider fitting all properties in their areas with a water meter and billing customers for every drop they use." It is widely reported that this could result in the doubling of water bills for some families.
Water stock conservation is therefore unsurprisingly high on the list of priorities for architects, builders and developers who need to achieve an excellence rating against criteria set by BREEAM (the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings) and The Code for Sustainable Homes. Building Regulations G (introduced October 2009) also brought into the sphere of Building Regulations a water efficiency standard of 125 litres per person, per day for new homes. It also clarified where greywater and harvested rainwater can be safely used.
Added to all of this is the fact that rainwater harvesting systems are now virtually indispensible in order to secure planning permission in some areas of the UK that are either at risk of flooding, or where the mains water just can't support demand and requires back up.
It can easily be seen therefore why rainwater harvesting is being incorporated into new projects and increasingly viewed as a routine addition to new designs.
So here are some of the key benefits of rainwater harvesting:
- Can reduce your water bill by up to 50%
- Reduces risk of flooding
- Extra sustainable development points
- Better water quality for the garden and home
- Can be used for livestock
- No need for a water softener
- Less detergents needed as water is softer