How To Collect Rainwater In The UK

Rainwater can be collected from roofs of homes, garages, and greenhouses if they have gutters and a downpipe that enters the drain at ground level.  In its simplest form, it is saving the water which falls onto the roof of the building, filtering the water from leaves and moss, then storing it in a storage tank until it is required.

Whilst the UK has often been accused of being a little slow with rainwater harvesting compared to the rest of the world, more effort is beginning to be made with initiatives that promote water conservation and management particularly in large urban areas.

Rainwater harvesting in the UK mainly falls into the following four categories.

  • Domestic Rainwater Harvesting
  • Agricultural Rainwater Harvesting
  • Commercial Rainwater Harvesting
  • Industry Rainwater Harvesting

Let us have a look at some applications for these rainwater systems.

Domestic Rainwater Harvesting Applications

UK mains water resources are under pressure from climate change and population growth and being able to use rainwater rather than mains water helps relieve this pressure of our mains water supply as well as saving you money.

Domestic rainwater harvesting is often used for watering the garden, irrigation and washing cats.  Plants need the most water in dry and windy weather, which is generally when there is peak demand for water companies.  Plants are most vulnerable to shortages of water when they are first planted, and their roots have not yet established into the deeper layers of soil.  Newly planted shrubs, trees and vegetables will all need their watering managed carefully until their roots establish.

Rainwater can be collected from homes, garages, greenhouses if they have gutters and a downpipe that enters the drain at ground level.   By reducing the amount of means water you use can reduce the sewerage rates you pay as well to your water company.

Domestic water tanks and water butts with rainwater filters and diverters are designed to collect water from the downpipe and overflow back to the drain when the tank is full.

It is good to clean rainwater tanks and water butts annually as this reduces the risk of a build build-up of silt in the tank which in turn makes the water smelly.  Seedlings generally require clean fresh rainwater due to the potential risk of fungal plant diseases by using water which has been stored for a long time. Interlinking water butts is a good idea to increase the capacity of the water and can be done with an interlinking kit.

Why filtering you rainwater is important – read more here

How to Collect Agricultural Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting for arable farms uses plastic water tanks as bulk water tanks for agriculture sprayers.  With sprayers getting larger a plastic water tank can make filling the sprayer easier and quicker with the bonus of free rainwater.  These sprayer tanks are available with a 2? or 3? valve c/w male Camlock coupler to connect to the sprayer.

Planning is very important when considering an agricultural rainwater harvesting system for arable farms as some installations have mains water top-up system which may come under the requirements of Category 5 for backflow prevention.  Download your copy here for the design recommendations for mains supply inlets for water cisterns here.

View our article on rainwater harvesting for agricultural sprayers here

Rainwater tanks for livestock farms include water for dairy washdown, livestock watering, pressure washing and plate cooling systems.  In many dairy flood wash systems are popular which rainwater harvested water can be used for. Likewise, with arable farm rain harvesting systems, some installation with mains water top-up a system come under the requirements of Category 5 for backflow prevention.

With over 500 hectares and 40,000 egg-laying chickens, the mains water bills for this farm in Leicestershire were considerable… View James’s case study here

How to Collect Commercial Rainwater

Commercial rainwater harvesting on is beginning to become increasingly important in the UK with legislation for new builds having to consider how they deal with ‘run-off’ water.  The has encouraged the fitting of underground water tanks, treatment systems and above ground storage tanks

The rainwater harvesting Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme help commercial rainwater harvesting makes sense by providing funding for water-efficient technologies.  Industrial and commercial premises have a large amount of roof space that can easily be converted to improve rainwater harvesting.

Contact us or email us at today for details for installers who advise on the saving you could make on rainwater harvesting

Industry Rainwater Harvesting Applications

There are many benefits to the industry of a rainwater harvesting scheme that are numerous and far-reaching.   Industry uses a large amount of water for processes and an efficient system can help reduce their reliance on a mains supply by between 40 and 50%.  In stone fabrication, for example, water is critical as most equipment requires water to operate whether it is for stone washing, keeping saw blades cool, polishing and cleaning.   Water can be expensive to purchase, to store and to dispose of dirty water as the dirty water cannot be put down the drain as the particles in the water can block drains.  By recycling wastewater in stone finishing a lot of money can be saved through treating this wastewater in house and re-used in the process in the plant.

For more details on How to Collect Rainwater in the UK and how you can save money – please get in touch!

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