Did you know that in Australia, the average person uses 295 liters of water a day? Conserving this precious resource will help to protect the planet and can also save you money. Collecting rainwater and following Syndey's Wise Water Rules are easy ways for you to do your part.
Rainwater collection offers many advantages. However, some homeowners are hesitant because they think it will be too difficult or expensive to install.
The following information will help you understand how easy and cost-effective it can be to collect rainwater at home. Let's get started!
Collecting Rainwater vs. Recycling Greywater
Greywater recycling involves reusing water that has been used in the sink, bathtub, shower, and dishwasher. The system cleans the water and pumps it back into the home. It's then used in toilets, washing machines, and for outdoor watering.
Greywater is in much higher supply than rainwater, so rainwater users will still have to use paid water sources at times. However, since rainwater hasn't been used yet, it tends to have fewer bacteria and other contaminants. This makes it a less expensive and more environmentally-friendly option for many homeowners.
Top 5 Ways to Save Money by Collecting Rainwater
Watering your garden is no longer the only use for collected rainwater. Technological advances have created many new options. Here are the top five ways to save money using rainwater.
Installing an underground tank with a self-cleaning filter or a gravity-fed system will allow you to pump rainwater into your house. Save up to 40 percent on your water bill by using rainwater for flushing toilets, running washing machines, and cleaning your house.
Adding plenty of water is a requirement for successful composting. There's no reason to use expensive tap water on your compost pile when rainwater is equally effective.
Use rainwater in outdoor fountains, fish ponds, and bird baths. Be sure to filter the water first if your system uses a pump. Otherwise, leaves and other debris could cause clogs.
Washing Vehicles and Outdoor Items
Save money by washing your car, patio furniture, gardening tools, lawnmowers, and other outdoor items with collected rainwater. Use rainwater to pressure-wash your driveway, sidewalks, and even the sides of your house.
If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, keeping a stock of rainwater handy can be extremely helpful. If this is your purpose, be sure to install a high-quality pump so you can spray the water fast, and with force.
How to Build a Rainwater Collection System
Rainwater collection systems can range from a simple homemade barrel to a top-of-the-line whole-house system. In any case, there are six critical elements involved in designing a functional system for collecting rainwater.
The collection surface is simply a waterproof area where the rain falls. In most cases, this is the roof of your home.
When the water hits your roof, you need to transport it into your collection reservoir. This is usually done with a system of downspouts and gutters.
Adding high-quality filters to your rainwater collection system eliminates many maintenance issues. It keeps the water clean and protects your tank from contamination.
The reservoir you choose can vary depending on your needs. You may install an underground water tank or use an above-ground container. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is watertight and light-resistant.
Depending on what you plan to use the water for, you may need to add a water treatment system. There are several options including carbon filtration and drip irrigation.
To efficiently use your collected water, you need to be able to get it back out of the reservoir. Most systems rely on gravity or a high-powered pump.
When collecting rainwater, there are some safety issues that you must address. Taking the time to proactively address the following items will help avoid potential problems.
Screens and Covers
You must securely cover your collection system to ensure that children, pets, and wildlife can't accidentally fall in. Adding mesh to the system will prevent mosquito breeding and keep debris from clogging the system.
Whenever water stands for long periods of time, algae can develop. This is of greater concern during the warmer summer months. Add a few capfuls of bleach to the water and let it stand for a few days. If the growth gets too bad, you may have to periodically drain the system and scrub it down.
If you're using a small system, it can fill up fast. During times of heavy rainfall, overflow becomes a potential issue. To avoid damage, install a drainage system that will divert the water into a storm drain or other moisture-tolerant area.
Collected rainwater can contain with things like insects, animal droppings, dust, pollen, and other contaminants. Although this is fine for cleaning and watering your garden, never use this water for drinking. Always label rainwater containers as non-potable and not for drinking.
Homeowners should be aware of sources of water pollution and do their best to avoid them. Also never mix fertiliser or other chemicals into your rainwater collection system, even if it's only used for outdoor watering.
Get Started Today
At Ultraflow, we design and implement superior rainwater collection and filtration systems. Whether you need some simple advice or a full installation, we are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your water management needs.