AD Have you always been interested in recycling rainwater in your garden? There are a lot of great reasons to collect your own rainwater and use it in place of tap water, but most people don’t consider it. Although there is some setup that you need to handle, it doesn’t require much input after that and you get a lot of benefits. This is everything you need to know about collecting, storing and using rainwater in your garden and home.
Why Collect Rainwater?
There are a number of reasons to collect rainwater, even if you are not a keen gardener. These are some of the main benefits of recycling rainwater.
It saves you money
Everybody is looking for ways to save money and make themselves financially stable. Collecting rainwater is a brilliant way to do that, but it is overlooked. We often talk about ways to reduce gas and electricity bills, but what about your water bill? If you don’t really pay attention to the amount of water you use, it’s likely that your bill is higher than it needs to be. Things like watering the garden and washing the car, for example, use a lot of water and push your bill right up. The thing is, you can easily use rainwater for those things and save yourself a lot of money. You can’t use it for showering or drinking unless you have a filtration system in place, but you can replace a lot of your water usage with rainwater.
It’s better for the environment
Excessive water use is one of the biggest environmental problems we face. There are already places where droughts are a regular occurrence and eventually, we will all have to start being careful about how we use our water. So, why not start now by collecting your own rainwater instead? Anybody that is trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle should consider setting up a system to collect rainwater in their garden.
It’s great for your plants
If you want your plants to thrive, rainwater is the best way to go. A lot of plants will survive fine with tap water but some plants will be damaged by the extra chemicals that are added. Limescale from tap water can also get on the leaves of the plants and cause some damage. So, if you want your plants to be extra healthy, start collecting your own rainwater.
How To Collect Rainwater
Collecting rainwater isn’t difficult at all once you have a good system set up. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Choosing a container
The first thing you need to do is choose a container for your rainwater. In some areas where you don’t get a lot of rain, you can probably make do with a simple water butt. These stand in the garden and you can then feed gutters and drainage from other buildings into the top. You can get water butts with a diverter so they still collect water but let the runoff into the drains to prevent flooding.
However, water butts do have their limitations and if you live in an area where you get a high volume of rain, you might want to consider larger boabab tanks to store the water you collect. Using a large, heavy-duty water tank like this will allow you to collect and store higher volumes of water, so you are less reliant on mains water and can supply most of your water from collected rain. Large rainwater tanks can be buried in the garden, so you don’t have to worry about them ruining the aesthetic, but you still collect huge volumes of water.
Maintaining Your Containers
Maintaining your rainwater containers properly is very important. If you don’t look after them properly, diseases can quickly spread in the water, which could kill your plants if you use it to water the garden. You don’t want to use stagnant, stinking water to clean your car either. To avoid this problem, make sure that you clean your rainwater containers on a regular basis. It may be a good idea to get multiple water butts, which you can use on a rotation to make for easier cleaning. Every time you empty a water butt, take the opportunity to clean it out.
Water filtration systems
The majority of people that collect rainwater use it for things like watering the garden or washing the car, and they don’t worry about filtering it. If you’re not using it for showering or drinking, it doesn’t need to be perfectly clean. However, if you are serious about living an eco-friendly lifestyle, you might want to reduce your reliance on mains water and try to live entirely off recycled water.
If you want to do this, you need to set up a system to filter the water. A basic filtration system that removes debris and some bacteria is adequate if you want to use the water for flushing toilets or washing your clothes. However, if you want to bathe in the water or even drink it, you need more advanced systems. UV lights can kill bacteria and pathogens to ensure that the water is safe for drinking. Obviously, it’s very important that you are careful if you are going to drink the rainwater that you harvest because it could make you seriously ill if it is not sufficiently clean. There are professional companies that help to design and implement these filtration systems so you can be extra sure that the water is safe.
Re-using gray water
Gray water is old wastewater from washing dishes or bathing, which can be reused instead of flushed down the drain. A lot of people don’t realize that common soaps and detergents are actually harmless to plants, so you can water the garden with old dishwater. However, anything that contains bleach or harsh chemicals can do some damage to the soil and kill the plants, so be careful.
Even if you start small and harvest a small amount of rainwater to give to your plants, you’re still saving money and helping the environment, so it’s worth it. Have you ever considered collecting and recycling rainwater in your garden?