Rainwater harvesting simply collects the rain which fall onto roofs, then
stores it in a tank until required for use. When required, the water
is then pumped to the point of use or to a secondary tank (header tank or break tank), thus displacing what would otherwise
be a demand for mains-water. In the process, a volume of water is
kept out of the storm-water management system, thereby helping to
reduce flooding risks.
Rainwater harvesting is not a new concept; however, over the last century
its use has diminished with the availability of a clean, inexpensive
and reliable water source through the mains supply.
More recently, water demand has started to exceed supply, and
localised flooding has become an issue. Industry experts are now
recognising the important role that rainwater harvesting (also known
as rainwater recycling, and greywater recycling) has to play in
alleviating both these problems. With strategic water planners looking to reduce the amount of water consumption per head going forward. Solutions such as rainwater harvesting will play a critical role.
Rainwater harvesting systems overview
Rainwater is captured from the roof(s), and brought to a central
point, via normal guttering and down-pipes, to enter a storage tank
(frequently underground), where it is filtered on entry. A highly
efficient and reliable submersible pump delivers the water to a
service on demand. Depending on the circumstances a secondary tank (header tank) can be used to gravity feed the water to the point of use.
The size of the storage tank is determined by considering the
amount of water available for storage (a function of roof size and
local average rainfall), and the amount of water likely to be used
(a function of buildings occupancy and function). It is very important not to over-size the rainwater tank too much. An over-sized tank may result in a lower than expected quality of water.
Considerations for fitting a rainwater collection system to an
• The external drainage from the roof needs to be modified
to bring the water to a central point.
• Access for the tank and excavation is required.
• Internal plumbing is usually required to be separated out
from the drinking (incl. bathing) water from the non-drinking water
(WC, washing machine & outside tap.)
Reasons for rainwater harvesting
• Rainwater harvesting (including rainwater recycling and some versions
of grey-water recycling) displaces a large proportion of the water
that would otherwise be provided by the mains supply - thus reducing
overall water supply costs.
• It can provide an off-mains supply for remote areas.
• It enhances a property and can completely satisfy the water requirements of the various levels of the code for sustainable homes.
Or BREEAM for commercial buildings and projects.
• It can form part of an attenuation and rainwater management
scheme, by reducing storm-water runoff and controlling the flow-rate
off site. As required for SUR1.
• Increasingly planning departments are looking more favourable
towards the concept of rainwater harvesting.
Types of Rainwater harvesting systems we offer
• Domestic systems, either direct or indirect (gravity/header tank versions) including potable upgrade where appropriate.
• Garden/irrigation systems, both above ground and underground.
• Commercial systems (bespoke)
• Greywater recycling systems (bespoke)
• Overall advice on the suitability of all of the above with regard to the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM standards.
A full range of underground rainwater harvesting tanks, made in Britain!