How To Have Rainwater When The Sun Shines? Harvest It
Being Detoured Around Floods But There Is A Drought?
Note from Pete : : I have been “flying South” more often than ever before this month in fact I think I could spread wings and migrate!
There I was being detoured around flooded roads on my way through Hampshire listening to the Radio telling me the UK was suffering from drought.
So it got me thinking more and more about the best possible solution for householders who like me grow a lot of their own fruit and vegetables and wonder why on earth we use drinking water to do everything from flush toilets to water the plants, I thought I would investigate the solutions of rain water harvesting brings.
Feature Article :How To Have Rainwater When The Sun Shines? Harvest It
A really great site championing the clear need to protect the precious natural resources is RainWater Harvesting.
The site is somewhat as passionate about their cause as we are about more Log Homes in the UK and it is because we are so complacent about our water and energy supplies in the UK that we honestly just expect them to be there forever.
In particular our water is actually considerably cheaper than in many other countries and less than 25% of all domestic properties are currently metered which leaves a lot of room for improvement if we are to deal with the current dry winters and the problems they have created especially in the South of England.
The UK is classified as a country with insufficient water yet it is an island surrounded by it. With huge population growth over the last decade and a huge rise in demand for more housing, the demand for all our resources is rising too.
It is reported that Madrid and Istanbul have more water available per person than in London. To meet and address the imbalance of the supply and new demand for our water resources householders need to reduce water consumption by one third.
As part of the self build process a huge amount of consideration should be given to Rainwater Harvesting as it is likely to play a significant part in not only reducing water consumption but it checks one of the most important boxes within the Code for Sustainable Homes that came into force in May 2008.
The Code assesses homes for sustainability in 9 categories including 2 that are to do with water and water consumption.
One aim is to reduce the usage of drinking quality water wherever necessary and the other is to reduce flood risk. Amazingly 30% – 50% of the average 160 litres of water each person uses per day does not have to be drinking water quality.
So the more we collect from our own rainwater the greater we would all collectively reduce consumption and protect the most vital of all resources.
As we have all adapted to more showers / less baths and recycling more of our household waste in the last few years, the more people that embrace collecting rain water in a water butt to water seedlings and tend the garden the better.
Some Thought Provoking Water Facts
If you can imagine the amount of water in a small sized swimming pool approx. 7 metres long, 4 metres wide and 2 metres deep that would contain the amount of water it is estimated the average person uses every year in the UK.
- 58,400 litres or 160 litres per day.
- Water Use in the home
- Average Bath 100 litres
- Average WC use daily 50 litres (old WCs use 9 litres per flush, new dual flush 4 or 2.5 litres)
- 5 min shower 33 litres (more like 100 with a power shower)
- Leaving tap running e.g. washing up or cleaning teeth. 5 to 10 litres a minute
- Dishwasher load 25-60 litres
- Clothes washing load 70-120 litres
Water Usage Outside the Home
Our normal outdoor use of water overall is less than 10% of our total water consumption but at peak times in a dry summer this rises to 70%
The hosepipe is the main villain and can flow at around 1000 to 1400 litres an hour depending on the pressure.
Using a trickle or drip system is a much better way to water your plants, fruit and vegetables and there is no evaporation so it is actually far more effective. Compared to the hosepipe a 100 metre lengths of the drip system would only use around 55 litres an hour which is a huge saving.
The Environment Is Changing Around Us And We Must Adapt Or Face Even More Severe Consequences
And at long last the official pressure is on to use rainwater:
- The Code for Sustainable Homes became mandatory in May 2008. The target is to reduce drinking water consumption and flood risk. All social housing must be built to Code level 3, reducing daily consumption from 160 to 103 litres a day
- Planning applications with rainwater harvesting are favoured.
- Planning regulations changed in September 2008 to encourage use of permeable surfaces and rainwater harvesting to offset flood threats from hard standings round houses.
- All new homes must have meters and water boards must install meters free of charge to existing households. Records show that metered homes use 10% less water; having a meter and using rainwater could reduce your water bill.
- Businesses can benefit from the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme to offset the installation cost of rainwater harvesting against tax.
- Businesses have a tax incentive (see above) and in the future the Government should implement grants such as exist in Germany where in some areas a grant of £1000 is given towards the cost of installation. Germany now has 50 000 rainwater harvesting systems installed every year (500 000 in total).
For more information and see the huge variety of garden and house Rainwater Harvesting Systems visit the Rainwater Harvesting UK site and check out the variety of ways in which you can start harvesting your water today.
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Pete Cossie is a time served carpenter and joiner with over 30 years experience in the UK construction industry. His passion for wood and acquiring a trade has meant he has never clocked in for a single day in his life. An entrepreneur with a rare gift for making people feel relaxed and completely at ease within minutes of meeting him.
A self declared man of principles with a passion for meeting people and explaining the often overly complicated process of Log Homes and Self Building in an easy to understand step by step way. With a track record in Shropshire of having built an award winning company in the late 1990’s Pete understands that the most important thing in the world in business right now is customer service. Pete and Diane (who runs the online side of the business) have vast amounts of experience when it comes to making sure bespoke orders come together with military like precision saving you stress and hassle.
Working with the best in the industry has always been Pete’s goal for Contemporary Log Living and it’s customers because in business reputation means everything. And that is why we are so proud to be associated with both Finnish Log Homes and the world’s #1 Log Home manufacturer Kontio of Finland. Delivering the best products with the best customer service is what sets us apart.
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