Everything You Need To Know About Using Rainwater
For most people rain is a nuisance, even the slightest amount can ruin a perfectly planned out day. But, rain does not always have to be a bad thing. There are actually a lot of ways you can use rainwater to your advantage. It is not very common in urban areas, but if you venture outside the cities, you will plenty of people in rural areas making use of rainwater tanks. But, that does not mean that only rural dwellers benefit from a rainwater collection system; everyone can make use of rainwater collection system, no matter where they live. Read through this guide and find out everything there is to know about using rainwater today.
Benefits of using a rainwater collection system
Reduced water bills
That’s right, using rainwater can knock a good chunk of change off your monthly water bill. By using a rainwater collection system, you can use rainwater as a replacement for regular water in a number of household activities. For example, you can use rainwater to wash your clothing and to wash your body and hair. Rainwater can be used in toilets as well. If you want to maintain a garden, rainwater can be used to water plants or your lawn. Some people even collect and use rainwater for drinking, although that is not necessary for people who live in urban areas. If you use rainwater for everyday tasks like showering, watering plants, and flushing your toilet, then you can potentially reduce your water usage by well over 60%. It is possible to completely cut out your main water supply, and live completely off rain water, but again that is probably not necessary for urban dwellers.
Great for the environment
If you care about the environment, then using rainwater is a great way for a single person or family to make a real difference in their community. First off, using rainwater helps reduce your household’s use of groundwater. Many communities in Australia are forced to rely on ground water, which has led to ground water stocks decreasing significantly; while Australia is good for the foreseeable future, water scarcity could be a major issue in the future. Use of rainwater for daily, water intensive tasks like bathing, watering lawns, laundry, etc., can really reduce your usage of groundwater.
Also, believe it or not, use of rainwater can help reduce flooding. The rainwater that you collect and use would otherwise run off into local streams and creeks; which would cause them to rise. So, by using rainwater you are actually preventing small floods. Now obviously, one person using rainwater is not going to stop any floods. But if you can convince some of your neighbours to start using rainwater as well; it can spread throughout your neighbourhood and help prevent local flooding.
Finally, use of rainwater can actually help keep rainwater storage dams in place. If you follow the news you will probably on occasion hear of conflicts between the government and environmental groups over the construction and expansion of water collection dams. The government obviously has to build and expand these dams to keep up with the water demands of an increasing population; but on the other hand, construction and expansion of these dams can harm the local environment. So, by switching to rainwater, you can help reduce the demand for water from these dams, which in turn means the government will not need to expand them and damage the local environment.
How to install a rainwater collection system?
If you look online you will see plenty of DIY (do-it-yourself) guides for how to install a rainwater tank; but generally, unless you have a lot of specialty tools and the necessary materials (and there are a lot of expensive materials require to properly install a rainwater tank) then it is easier to call a plumber who will install one for you. It may be annoying to have to pay for a professional plumber, but the money you save off your water bill each month will more than makeup for the cost of a good plumber.
Some potential issues with a rainwater tank
There are a couple of issues that can pop up whenever you install a rainwater tank.
Mosquito breeding ground
Mosquitoes love breeding in fresh water that is calm and exposed. So, a rainwater tank is like heaven on earth for mosquitoes. Now, most mosquitoes are simply a nuisance, but some of the mosquitoes that can breed in your tank can carry diseases. There are actually laws in certain Australian states (like Queensland) requiring that all rainwater tanks be made mosquito proof. If you get a rainwater tank installed, make sure it has high-quality screens to prevent any mosquitoes from getting in and turning your tank into a breeding ground.
Animals, especially small ones like birds and rodents, have an annoying habit of getting into your rainwater tank. Now that on its own is no big deal, but they often have issues getting out of the tank. They eventually die and their remains can infect your rainwater with diseases. So, make sure every possible entrance into your rainwater tank is sealed tight.
Industrial and chemical pollutants
Rainwater can become contaminated by pollutants released from chemical use or from industrial run-off. Pesticides are probably the biggest issue you face when using rainwater. Now, a properly installed rainwater tank will help. Also, studies of the quality of the rainwater in Australia have consistently shown that the rainwater contains very little in terms of pollutants and industrial run-off. But, just to be safe, keep an eye out for news on the quality of the rainwater. The government is always quick to react if the rainwater in an area seems like it might be polluted. If you plan to use rainwater to drink, then you should make sure that your filter system is top notch.
Rainwater is a great way to save money and help the environment; while most people will not be able to completely cut their water usage by 100%, many will be able to cut their water use by more than half, just by using rainwater. So, there really is no excuse, call a plumber, and see how much it will cost to install a rainwater tank on your property.