Here’s how to beat the drought with a rainwater harvesting system.
As winter approaches, people in drought-stricken Cape Town will start looking to the skies with renewed hope. But, even with good rains, it’s predicted that the city will still endure prolonged water restrictions. And it’s not just the Cape. In fact, most of South Africa is a water-scarce area. So, it makes enormous sense for all of us to find ways not only to save water, but to generate our own water sources.
WHAT IS RAINWATER HARVESTING?
Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting and storing rain to use later. It’s been used for centuries and has always been a key feature of rural life. Now it’s making a comeback in cities around the world, as municipal water systems come under increasing pressure.
The simplest rainwater harvesting method is to place a rain barrel under a downspout. The water collected can then be used for garden irrigation. But, there are many more sophisticated rainwater harvesting systems available. A professionally designed and installed system will allow you to use rainwater in your home for a variety of purposes, and can almost entirely eliminate your reliance on municipal water.
WHY HARVEST RAINWATER?
Be more water secure
Although Day Zero has been delayed in Cape Town, it’s still very much on the cards. Gauteng has had ongoing water restrictions for the last year, and is expected to remain water insecure until 2025. Many other metropolitan areas around South Africa have experienced water shortages. And, as population growth puts resources under increasing pressure, the situation may get worse.
Rainwater harvesting can cut your water bill by more than 90 percent. Until now, municipal water has been relatively cheap, but Capetonians have already seen their water rates increase dramatically. This is a trend that’s likely to continue around South Africa. What’s more, your sewage bill will be similarly slashed, as it’s based on your household’s metered water consumption.
Avoid harmful chemicals
Rainwater is free from many of the chemicals commonly found in municipal water, grey water, and underground water sources such as boreholes and well points. This means it’s better for your plants and your plumbing.
Save energy and the environment
Rainwater is more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than desalination or water purification.
Rainwater harvesting systems need relatively little time and energy for maintenance.
WHY INSTALL A PROFESSIONAL RAINWATER SYSTEM?
Sure, you can always stick with a basic rain barrel and lug buckets around your garden. It’s definitely better than nothing! But, a professionally designed rainwater harvesting system will not only automatically provide water for your garden and swimming pool, it can also be integrated with your home’s plumbing system. This means you can use rainwater for washing laundry and dishes, in your bath and shower, and, of course, your toilet.
A rainwater harvesting specialist will use a computer model to design the right system for you. This will take into account your roof size and type, the rainfall patterns in your area, the number of people in your household and the size of your garden and swimming pool.
A well-designed system will ensure that you not only have enough rainwater stored, but also that you use the rainwater as fast as it recharges. In other words, you won’t be wasting either rainwater or storage space.
A good rainwater harvesting system should include all the systems to harvest the rainwater from your roof, the piping to transport it from your gutters to storage tanks, filters and a flushing valve to remove any dirt and debris, pumps to pressurise water supplied to the house, and an override to allow you to switch back to using municipal water if you run out of rainwater.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Because a professional rainwater harvesting system must be designed especially for your household, the costs will vary. Costs can also depend on your location and on different companies. Contact reputable rainwater harvesting experts in your area to request a detailed quote.
LET RCS HELP YOU UPGRADE YOUR HOME WITH AN RCS PERSONAL LOAN
Apply for an RCS Personal Loan and you could be granted a cash loan of up to R150 000, with flexible repayment options from 12 to 60 months. Use the cash to install a professional rainwater harvesting system in your home, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being in control of your own water supply!