We have innovative rainwater harvesting ideas for residential homes. Rainwater harvesting has been around for 6000 years. Here’s what it is and why you should do it:
Rainwater-harvesting tanks have become a common sight on South African properties. This seems to be a trend grabbing the imagination of more and more South Africans. It is not a new innovation. People have been using these techniques for thousands of years. As early as 4000 BC people were making use of rainwater harvesting for dry-land farming. Here is why you should harvest rainwater, too.
What is rainwater harvesting?
Simply put, rainwater harvesting is just that: harvesting the rainfall for use in and around the home. Rather than letting the water go down the drain, it is collected (harvested) and used.
Why should I harvest rainwater?
Studies have shown that between 1989 and 2009 South Africa had 4% less water. With this trend continuing saving water should become more and more of a priority to households in South Africa. Rainwater harvesting is used throughout the world, from China to America. It is very common in Canada and New Zealand and is growing in popularity in the United Kingdom.
What would harvested rainwater be used for?
Using harvested rainwater to irrigate your garden is the natural way to use it. But there are many other ways to use rainwater that can save you money. Even making use of the collected rainwater for indoor plants is a good start. Pets can also safely drink rainwater.
Using the rainwater to wash cars and equipment would be an innovative way to save on water. You can also keep lawnmowers and other garden equipment clean this way.
What savings could harvested rainwater give me?
This is where it can become very interesting. If you make the effort to use rainwater to flush your toilet, you could reduce your use of municipal water by over 25%.
Rainwater is often good quality water on its own. It is free from chlorine and other chemicals used to treat municipal water. If you collect rainwater directly as it falls (rather than off your roof) it is usually safe for human consumption. But the most effective ways to collect rainwater is via water systems that collect from gutters and roofs. It is possible to treat this rainwater for further use in the home. Showering and bathing become options, which could save you a further 17% or more of water usage. You could even use rainwater for laundry, which accounts for over 20% of water usage in many homes.
Simple innovative filtration systems can be installed which make the rainwater suitable for drinking and cooking. It is also effective to boil or distill the rainwater for these uses.
Untreated harvested rainwater can also be used to rinse off homegrown vegetables, to make compost, for outdoor ponds and water features. If you are in an area that is prone to wildfires, a large catchment of rainwater can even aid in fire protection.
What are some innovative ways to harvest rainwater?
As we mentioned the most basic systems harvest rainwater by installing a tank that catches the run-off from roofs and gutters. This is most readily used to irrigate the garden.
There are other innovative options that include filtration systems. These can be quite inexpensive. There also cost-effective ways to have the water pumped into your household for easy use to in the bathroom and kitchen. Harvested rainwater can also be set up to be used in conjunction with municipal water.
Most household tanks range between 750 litres to 5000 litres. It is possible to go for larger tanks, but more than 10000 litres on a residential home is not advisable. It is an option to have these tanks installed underground.
What are the ways to get started with rainwater harvesting?
You can begin to enjoy all the benefits of harvested rainwater. Contact Strucon today. We will advise you on the best, innovative rainwater harvesting system to meet your needs.