Rainwater, why not?
Each of us uses 150 liters of drinking water on average per day. However, if a person saves water, he or she can use up to 100 liters. The water we use is a high-quality one. For our household purposes like drinking and cooking, we need only a small part of it!Thus, normally each of us needs 2 liters of water to drink and 10 liters to cook our meals. What about the rest 138 liters? Over 50 liters we use for our personal hygiene. The infographic below shows how much drinking water we spend on our daily routine activities.
Moreover, that is not the end of the list. Our daily water usage may reach up to 200 liters per person. Here is some more counting on water use, if you are extremely saving.
For example, for the regions where water restriction levels are applied, those are extremely high figures.
Fortunately, we can save up on our bills, without harming the environment, with the help of rainwater use in the household. Researchers show that we can cut down drinking water usage even up to 50%. Note that our bills for water supply and sewerage services can arrive at more than £500 per year in 2017 – 2018. Here you can find the information on water suppliers and water rates applied to each region in the UK.
How can we use rainwater at home?
- Watering lawns, gardens, and houseplants. You can do it by hand or with the help of automatic irrigation system. Just attach rainwater storage to it.
- Laundry. While rainwater has a low-level of lime, it is suitable for laundry. In addition, it will make your appliances live longer.
- Flushing toilets. It takes from 6 to 12 liters per flush.
- Washing vehicles and equipment. Keep in mind that an average car wash at home uses up to 300 liters of water.
Where can we use rainwater?
Rainwater systems can be installed at:
- One family house
- Multifamily housing
- Summer-houses and cottages
- Shopping malls
- Schools and offices
The advantages of rainwater use
Reduces the use of drinking water by 50 %, which means less harm to the environment and reduction of groundwater consumption.
Reduces bills on water supply, if you install a water meter.
Your home appliances work longer because rainwater is softer.
Easy to maintain. Only once a year you should check the self-cleaning filters in your system.
How does it work?
In general, the rainwater falls from the roof, gets through the filter into the container and with the help of the pump to the consumers. In case the container is not filled enough, for example, during droughts, it is automatically replenished with the drinking water. The system itself is really simple, but it needs control for its undisturbed operation.
You can harvest the rainwater from each type of the roof. The most suitable are roofings made of clay tiles, concrete tiles, slates, and glass.
From the beginning, the water flows through a mechanical filter, to separate dirt, moss, leaves, droppings etc. Due to the piling up of the dirt, the mechanical filter should be constantly cleaned. There also exist pretty effective self-cleaning filters.
Additionally, when water gets into the tank, it is cleaned with sedimentation of small particles of dirt. It is also possible to set one more filter between the pump and consumer for better purification.
More importantly is to choose the right place for the retention tank. The inner tank made of light-proof plastic may be placed in the basement. However, it is better to locate the tank outside the house below the ground level. Thus, the water will be stored in the dark and cold place in order not to go green and smelly. In this case, the tanks are made of concrete or plastic as well.
Below the general scheme of rainwater harvesting system is provided.
How much does it cost?
In order to install an average fully functioning domestic rainwater harvesting system, you will have to spend between £2,000 and £3,000 excluding the price of installation, which costs no more than £1,000. The price of the system depends mostly on the volume capacity of the tank. In order to choose the most suitable one, you should estimate the amount of rainfall in your region, as well as your family’s needs for water consumption. The price may seem really high, but the rewards are greater, too.
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