Rainwater Harvesting

What is a rainwater harvester?

A rainwater harvester collects rain run-off from roof like structures for use in the garden or home. The most common types are waterbutts or water barrels that collect rainwater to be used to water the garden, more complex types of harvester are stored underground and connected to a pump so they can be used in your home plumbing system for things like flushing toilets.

Benefits of harvesting rainwater

-Limits stormwater runoff, this is caused by melting snow or rainwater when it is not absorbed into the ground and stays on the surface. When this happens it can cause sediment, pesticides and fertilisers to flow into water catchment areas, causing local streams, rivers and lakes to become polluted. Polluted waterways can lead to Algae blooms, illness in animals and livestock and damage to aquatic life.

-Rainwater is great for your plants! Rainwater is low in calcium and magnesium, free from treatment chemicals and full of nitrates that encourage plant growth.

-Reduces the ever growing demand on groundwater as population growth is causing a greater need for clean drinking water.

-If used correctly a rainwater harvester is a great way of saving money, up to 50% of wasted drinking water can be saved by using a harvester that is connected to your home plumbing system. It is a great way of reducing your water bills!

Disadvantages of rainwater harvesting

-Rainfall isn't always reliable, if you plan on using rainwater as a main source of water you may find it disappointing if you go through spells of little or no rain, especially in the summer months. Luckily though some advanced harvesters are connected to a water supply to ensure there is always enough water in the tank.

-There are some high initial costs for the larger systems, so the money saving side of these systems are much more in the long-term, though because of the amount of water saved it shouldn't take you too long to make back your investment. Smaller systems used for your garden however cost much much less.        

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