Tis the season… for catching rainwater
With winter well underway and spring fast approaching, the weather outside is wetter than ever. But this isn’t always a bad thing.
Increased rainfall may mean more time spent indoors, but using the rainwater to your advantage can unlock lots of plus-points for your home and the wider planet. Recycling water can save money, conserve water, and protect the environment. Catching rainwater is an easy and affordable way to do just that.
Read on to discover more about rainwater harvesting and its many benefits and uses.
The benefits of collecting rainwater
Harvesting rainwater is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, particularly as water resources are put under more and more pressure by climate change and population growth.
Hosepipe bans during summer months have also seen people get creative with collecting, storing and using water.
Harvesting rainwater provides a cheap, eco-friendly and effective way to reduce your home’s water consumption, which will help to protect the country’s precious water resources. The collected water can be reused to save mains water and lower your water bill too. As The Renewable Energy Hub explains, the financial savings can be huge:
“How much a rainwater harvesting system will save you in the long run will depend on a number of factors such as water consumption habits both indoors and outdoors, meteorological factors, as well as the size and initial cost of the system installed…
In the case of a domestic system, it may be that you could save 40-50% on water bills by drawing the water you need for washing clothes and cleaning your car from a reserve tank.”
How to harvest rainwater
Getting a professional rainwater harvesting system installed may make sense for commercial buildings but residential properties will see more benefits from a standard water butt fitted with rainwater diverters.
DIY harvesting systems can also be constructed for a more creative and even cheaper way to collect rainwater.
Whatever system you opt for, positioning it for maximum rainwater collection is the key. Regular cleaning is also required to prevent the spread of disease – especially if you plan to reuse the rainwater to feed the plants in your garden.
Your water butt or DIY system should be sitting on a sturdy, level base, which can be shop bought or made using a pile of bricks.
The system should also incorporate a lid to reduce algae growth and prevent wildlife from falling into the butt.
Top uses for collected rainwater
There are countless uses for recycled rainwater both inside and outside the home. It can be used to flush the toilet, water garden plants, house plants and lawns, wash your car, and clean your windows. It can even be utilised in the washing machine to wash your clothes.
Want to create a garden that’s loved by wildlife? Recycled rainwater can be used in bird baths, troughs and other containers to attract all manner of creatures to your outdoor space.
With the right filtering, rainwater can also be utilised in water features, outdoor ponds, and water walls to make your garden more attractive and fun for all who use it.