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- Rainwater Harvesting
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A rainwater harvesting system reduces mains water usage and maintains water supplies in periods of drought. If rainwater is required for the garden and car washing purposes only then the simplest solution is to connect water butts to existing rainwater pipes. When there is surplus rainwater it can be used in the home for non-drinking purposes, such as flushing toilets or filling a washing machine.
Rainwater harvesting for use in the home is a specialised field. The rainwater harvesting system must be designed so that the supply of rainwater meets the individual demand. As rainfall is intermittent it is advisable to store enough rainwater to avoid running out in dry spells. It is usual to install a back-up mains supply that will operate automatically when the underground storage tank runs low. The control system is programmed to fill the storage tank from the mains when there is insufficient rainwater available.
Pitched roofs provide a suitable rainwater catchment area. The existing rainwater pipes and gutters act as the harvesting system. Rainwater is collected that falls onto a house or other building roof to maximise water for storage.
Harvesting rainwater from the ground is more problematic. It is likely to be contaminated and will require additional cleaning. However, contamination may not be a problem if the rainwater is designated for garden use only.
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