Rainwater harvesting is a technique that involves collecting and storing rainwater for later use in households, gardens, irrigation, and for other commercial uses.
The basic principle is that rainwater runs off hard surfaces (such as rooftops), through a collection system and into a water tank where it is stored until it’s needed.
In a dry climate such as we have here in Australia, it’s easy to see that this makes a lot of sense. But there are significant economic, social and environmental benefits of rainwater harvesting you may not be aware of.
Curious? Let’s explore some benefits of rainwater harvesting!
Benefit 1: Water conservation
Sure, the seas are rising. That means more water, right? Afraid not. Saline water is unsuitable for drinking, watering, and pretty much every use – except for swimming in on a hot day. But desalination is expensive and produces by-products that aren’t great for the environment.
Rainwater on the other hand, is suitable for use all over the house and garden. But the problem is that rain is an increasingly scarce resource in Australia. A large portion of our country is always in drought, and many rural towns are also facing a looming water crisis due to rainfall shortage.
This is bad news for our farmers, and for affected communities. So when it rains, it’s important to catch as much water as we can. The rest can flow into our rivers and lakes and replenish the land.
Benefit 2: Reducing flooding and erosion
Particularly in areas where tree or plant cover is sparse, flooding can cause erosion. Erosion is basically the loss of topsoil, which in turn reduces crop yields, impacts stock grazing areas and damages infrastructure.
In urban areas, flooding and erosion can block drains, cause roadway flooding, and damage shops and houses.
Rainwater harvesting can help combat this problem by reducing contamination of run-off, and turning storm-water problems into a usable water supply. By reducing stormwater runoff, rainwater harvesting can reduce a peak flow volume and velocity in local creeks, streams, and rivers, reducing the potential for erosion before it’s even begun.
Benefit 3: Reduces water bills
Every day, the average Australian household uses approximately 900 litres of water. That can certainly hurt the hip pocket when your water bill arrives.
Harvesting rainwater doesn’t just help individual households; the cost to supply mains and overall water services can be substantially reduced when many people within one community switch to harvested rainwater. As less energy is needed to treat and pump water to a municipality, it means cost savings for everyone.
In some areas, local councils have even introduced cash-back rebate plans for households that install a rainwater tank. Give your local offices a call to see how to qualify!
Benefit 4: Less chemicals
Some people prefer to drink fresh rainwater as it doesn’t contain the added chemicals that are used to treat mains supplied water. Other people live in areas where the mains water is ‘hard’, salty, contains heavy metals or has an unpleasant smell, making rainwater an attractive alternative.
A rainwater harvesting system installed correctly means the system functions in a way that water is naturally treated for drinking use. Many of the potential contamination issues that might be associated with a roof catchment can be eliminated with the right setup.
Besides, rainwater that has been properly filtered and disinfected is some of the best tasting water available!
Benefit 5: Improving plant and appliance life
Using harvested rainwater can help flush salt buildup from plants and soil. Rainwater is generally free from several types of pollutants and chemicals, and is free from chlorination. This makes it a healthier option for grass and plant life, which in turn can save you money on lawn maintenance and landscaping.
The zero hardness of rainwater also eliminates scale build-up that occurs in many household appliances. This extends the life of your appliances, meaning even more cost savings, as well as the convenience of avoiding crowded shopping malls!
How to harness these benefits with your own rainwater tank
Since 2007, the team at ASC Water Tanks have been supplying rain harvesting systems to clients both residential and commercial across Australia. From units to homes – to farming and agriculture, we provide solutions for every person, every situation.
We only sell high grade Australian Made water tanks to support our economy and to deliver a superior product to our customers.
To discuss how to setup a rainwater harvesting system in your home, contact us here or give us a call on 1300 229 606.