The benefits of harvesting rain water

Water supplies in the UK are under extreme pressure from both environmental factors and human consumption, so it isn’t surprising that systems to harvest rain water are becoming more popular all the time.

Both private and public sectors are able to benefit by both saving our environment and making substantial savings in the cost of their water. These systems will work in a wide variety of sectors from retail through to industry and manufacturing. They make the use of large roof spaces that are under-utilised and the water can be used for both external applications and toilets.

UK water supplies are becoming increasingly under stress with climate change causing altering rainfall patterns, a rising population growth as well as increasing individual consumption. As a result Government policy is being reflected in Building Regulations.

Sustainability standards such as BREAM request the reduction of mains water consumption and encourage the use of non-wholesome water such as rain water for external uses or for flushing toilets. Rain water harvesting systems are becoming more popular within the public and private sector as a way of not only substantially boosting your corporate social responsibility but saving the environment too.

Rainwater harvesting is not all about sustainability though. By installing a system you can make considerable reductions to your corporate water bill. By reducing your water rates you will continue to make annual savings, an investment that will pay for itself time and time again.

You will also be protecting your organisation from increasing water rates. Benefiting financially from the rainwater that falls on to your own roof is an opportunity that businesses can reap the benefits from. Often excess water can be problematic; however, installing a rainwater harvesting system can help attenuate any surface water issue.

Rainwater harvesting systems are progressively being incorporated into commercial and public sector developments such as schools, hospitals, office buildings and shopping centres. It is often more cost effective to install the harvesting system during the construction of the building, however it is possible to install on existing buildings.

There are a number of factors to take into account when considering an installation: the external drainage from the roof may need modifying to bring the water to a central location, internal plumbing usually needs to be adjusted to separate the drinking/bathing water from the non drinking water used for WC’s, outside taps or washing machines and access is needed for the water tank.

Investing in a rain water harvesting system is fast becoming a part of business’ strategy to lower water costs, make annual savings and reduce their carbon footprint by fulfilling their CRC energy efficiency scheme targets. These systems work within a variety of sectors including retail, industry and manufacturing.

Shopping centres, supermarkets and retail parks are improving their corporate environmental performance by exploiting their large roof areas and using the water for toilets and external use. Industrial and manufacturing industries often have large warehouse buildings with flat roofs so finding a way of alleviating the strain of the water that gathers there is essential.

The harvested water can then be used in toilet flushing, truck washing and yard wash down, the applications are endless.