Want to collect rainwater? Read how you can do this.
Rainwater harvesting in the face of climate change is an environmentally friendly behavior that can save you a lot on your water bill. How can I collect rainwater? Is rainwater harvesting only possible in houses?
Why collect rainwater?
Harvesting rainwater is an increasingly popular way to manage water economically. By using rainwater to water your garden or wash your car, precious drinking water is not wasted.
The advantages of domestic rainwater harvesting
- saving – collecting water from rainfall and then using it to water the garden can save up to several hundred zlotys in the spring and summer
- independence – in some areas access to water is limited due to drought. Owning a rainwater tank allows you to gather sufficient quantities to water your plants;
- ecology – ecologists agree that rainwater harvesting has a very beneficial effect on the environment. It helps prevent local flooding and protects against water shortages during droughts. Rainwater harvesting in the garden helps to maintain proper soil moisture;
- building protection – during heavy rainfall, a large rainwater tank can protect your basement from flooding.
The cost-effectiveness of rainwater tanks depends mainly on the amount of rainfall and the demand for water. Rainwater can be collected in urban and rural areas. When collecting rainwater you should remember about proper roof covering. Roofs covered with tiles or slate are best for rainwater harvesting, as the water flowing down them is less polluted. You cannot use rainwater that flows from a roof covered with asbestos cement elements.
Underground rainwater tanks
An underground rainwater tank can be a regular large container or a decorative special tank. Whichever type of above-ground tank you choose, you will need to install a gutter and tank to the drain pipe. Above-ground rainwater tanks range in capacity from 100 to 2000 liters. It is best to buy tanks made of weather-resistant plastic such as polyethylene.
Underground rainwater tanks
Underground rainwater tanks belong to the more advanced systems of water collection. Initially they require more money, but in the long run they allow for relatively greater savings. The main advantage of underground tanks is their large capacity, even up to 50 000 liters. Another advantage is the possibility of connecting even several tanks together, which allows for even greater water savings.
In the underground rainwater tank it is worth installing a basket filter, which cleans the water from larger impurities. If the treated rainwater is to be distributed around the garden, special infiltration boxes should be installed.
Is it possible to collect rainwater in a block of flats?
There are two ways to collect rainwater in a block of flats. The first way is to put a few buckets or bowls on the balcony or windowsill (they have to be secured so they don’t fall down) when it rains. The second method is to install pots (without drainage holes) on the railings. Whichever method you choose, do it very carefully so as not to accidentally flood your neighbors.
Where can rainwater be used?
Rainwater can be used at home and in the garden for:
- watering lawns,
- watering potted plants or plants planted in the ground,
- washing the car,
- washing gardening tools,
- washing garden and patio furniture.
If the rainwater is treated, it can be used to:
- filling a backyard swimming pool,
- flushing the toilet.
Please note that rainwater is not potable water and cannot be used in the kitchen.
Rainwater harvesting is very ecological. Before installing a rainwater harvesting system, it is advisable to check the possibility of subsidizing the investment in the relevant city or municipality.