Is It Legal To Collect Rainwater In The UK?

Harvesting rainwater can help to reduce erosion and flooding, slash your overheads, improve plant growth and cut down the demand on ground water – but is it legal to collect rainwater? In this blog, we give you the ins and outs of the rainwater collection system UK wide. Is collecting rainwater legal? Read on to find out more.

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Rainwater Collection Is Not Regulated

The key thing to note here is that the Environment Agency will not regulate harvested rainwater – which means it is legal to collect rainwater in the UK. However, permission does come with a caveat – you are able to collect rainwater provided its use does not harm the environment. You can use harvested rainwater without a water abstraction licence, but it should be noted that there are standards and regulations around rainwater collection which need bearing in mind.

Related Regulations

BS 8515:2009 Rainwater Harvesting Systems – your rainwater harvesting system should meet these standards relating to water quality, installation, risk management and testing.

Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) – it is important to keep rainwater away from potable water to prevent health risks. This scheme includes the stipulation for a physical air gap between a rainwater harvesting system and the mains supply in order to prevent the chance that non-potable water could be siphoned into the mains supply.

Permitted development rights – these typically include rainwater harvesting systems, and that means you do not usually need planning permission to install such a system. Check with your local planning office to make sure. In many cases, an environmentally friendly feature such as a rainwater harvesting system can be considered positive by local authorities when looking at applications for new builds.

What Can Harvested Water Be Used For?

There are so many ways in which you can use harvested rainwater in domestic or commercial properties:

  • Drinking – you may not associate rainwater with being drinkable, but all you need is a filtration system; alternatively distil or boil the water.
  • Laundry – cut down on your overheads by using rainwater for your washing, reducing the volume of water you need to take from the mains.
  • Toilets – this is a no brainer; why pay for water to use in the toilet when rainwater can do the job just as well?
  • Car washing – vehicles, and just about any outdoor tools and equipment – from lawnmowers to garden tools – can be done with rainwater. Use the hose pipe without any guilt!

So there is some key information on the rainwater collection system UK-wide. Yes, it is perfectly legal to collect rainwater! Call Enduramaxx today for more information.

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