Rainwater harvesting systems allow residents to save mains water by using rainwater for household or commercial use. They can be added to any building type and installed either above or below ground. This offers several key benefits:
Saving Customers Money
A RWH system can save users money by significantly reducing the amount of water they need to purchase from their utility company. This can vary enormously from one system to another, depending on the size of building, location, water usage etc.
Even a small rainwater harvesting system can result in decreased quarterly water bills. Rainwater harvesting systems are especially beneficial in large buildings, or buildings with high water demand and large roofs, such as schools, farms and leisure centres.
Storm Water Retention
Another great benefit is that RWH systems help with storm water retention and attenuation. This is especially important within an urban landscape, where water that can be captured and held on site will significantly reduce the volume of water discharged to the main drainage system, thus reducing flood risk.
Water For Gardens
Good news for gardeners too! A garden rainwater system (provided it has no mains water backup) is exempt from hosepipe bans. So gardeners can benefit during dry summers by using their stored water for plant and crop watering.
Rainwater harvesting systems are energy efficient and environmentally friendly, requiring no chemicals for water treatment. Treatment is done by filtration, as will be explained later in this document.
Compliance With BREEAM Requirements
Some commercial building projects have to comply with a sustainability assessment method known as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).
Reducing the use of water within a building will earn credits that count towards the BREEAM score.
This will depend on what level of BREEAM is to be achieved (there are five grades from Pass to Outstanding).
The higher grades restrict mains water use to such a degree that using rainwater for certain purposes counts towards the credits that the scheme requires to meet the grade.