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Metred systems and rainwater collection could save you money

January 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

If you are planning to stay in your property long-term, installing a rainwater harvesting system along with switching to a metered supply could save you money, not to mention impact the environment positively.

The amount of rainwater that you can collect depends on the size of your property, the roof size and shape, and of course the weather. Nevertheless, an average UK house is estimated to be able to collect 100 cubic mls per annum, enough to make a dent in those bills, even when offset against the cost of installation.

The means of collection and use can vary from an extremely simple water-butt on your roof to a complex, professionally installed system including underground tanks and (if you wish to drink it) a UV filter.

Untreated rainwater can be used for a variety of household needs, for example washing the car, clothes, flushing toilets and watering the garden.

The wider environmental benefits of rainwater harvesting include the fact that it doesn’t need to be treated beforehand like drinking water and so saves on energy intensive chemical treatments and distribution processes. Actually over 80% of an average household’s water needs can be met with untreated rainwater harvesting and it is superior to mains water in several cases. For example plants prefer it as rainwater contains no chlorine, domestic appliances benefit from the lack of limescale and as rainwater is soft, less detergent is required to wash clothes.

There is evidence that harvesting rainwater could help to save Britain’s wetlands, currently suffering from over-extraction by water companies and reduce run-off during torrential downpours that led to the type of flooding we saw in 2012.

All in, the reasons to harvest rainwater are manifold and saving money for yourself is just the first.

Finally, how do you switch to a metered supply? Simple, if you are not on a metered supply already, then your water provider is obliged by law to install one which seems an excellent reason to make this a priority in 2013.

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