Rainwater harvesting generally describes the collection, filtering, storage and ultimately the re-use of rainwater that falls on the roofs of houses, garages and other man-made buildings. With a range of potential uses including garden irrigation and car washing as well as re-use for grey-water applications and drinking water, rainwater harvesting is as relevant for existing houses as it is for new builds.
Why harvest rainwater?
The demand worldwide for fresh water has tripled over the last 50 years and is increasing by 64 trillion litres a year (Aquastat – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Closer to home, water and sewerage bills have increased by 40% since the water companies were privatised in 1989.
Harvesting rainwater captures the free, naturally soft, water that falls on your roof and stores it for re-use later. Typical uses include:
- Garden irrigation & washing cars (7% of domestic water usage)
- Toilet flushing (30% of domestic water usage)
- Clothes washing (13% of domestic water usage)
- Personal washing (33% of domestic water usage)
How does it work?
Rainwater harvesting can be broken into 4 stages:
- Collection: rainwater downpipes are connected to underground pipes which deliver the rainwater to the filtration device.
- Filtration: filtration removes debris from the rainwater so that only clean, oxygenated water is retained. The filtration stage typically includes a coarse leaf-filter, fine sediment filter, calmed inlet and floating suction filter.
- Storage: storage of collected rainwater is generally below ground in purpose-built storage tanks. Storage tanks can be installed in gardens and under driveways. Above ground tanks are also possible where ground conditions or access prevent below ground storage.
- Delivery: a submersible pump and control system deliver clean water from the storage tank to point of use. Direct systems use the pump and a pressure vessel to deliver water directly to the point of use whereas indirect systems pump water to a header tank in your loft.
WCI is an independent designer and installer of rainwater harvesting systems. We only specify reliable systems (such as www.rainharvesting.co.uk) and components which meet your particular requirements and, as a sewage and wastewater specialist, WCI can draw on a wider range of storage tanks, pump systems and filtration systems than many specialist rainwater harvesting suppliers.
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Part of establishing the quiet, family-orientated Newton Brook Caravan and Camping in Somerset was to design a Building Control and Environment Agency (EA)-compliant foul drainage system. We employed WCI Sewage Treatment Ltd to liaise with the EA after we found ourselves out of our depth when the bespoke permit application we submitted was questioned. After talking through our issues with the very knowledgeable Naomi, WCI guided us through the process and a permit was awarded with a 5 ammonia standard. WCI went to tender for the most suitable system for our site and WPL designed the system. David Trump of WCI oversaw the installation of the large 400 pe. HiPAF System by our own contractors on a Saturday in April 2016. The installation was smooth and its operation has been faultless. WCI have been pivotal in getting our site up and running and open to the public. David has a wealth of knowledge gained from working all around the world, he is also very good at baking so I would suggest this is mentioned at the time of booking the first site meeting. We would not hesitate in recommending WCI.
Newton Brook Caravan and Camping, Somerset, April 2016
“Many, many thanks for such a brilliant job which David managed brilliantly on the day and reduced my stress levels no end! It might seem silly to hear, but it is SO good not to have to worry anymore as to how many times the toilet is flushed, or how many showers are being taken – which has been a constant stress for over 10 years. I wish I’d done it a lot sooner. Best regards to all at WCI and thank you so much.”
Lester Cottage, East Huntspill, May 2014
“We were very pleased with the professionalism and care taken by David Trump and his team in installing a Conder Sewage Treatment Plant. His dealing with the regulatory bodies was also very much appreciated. We would highly recommend WCI Sewage Treatment to anyone considering a new, or replacement sewage treatment plant.”
Max & Sally MacLean
Coldfeet Cottage, Wedmore, June 2013
“We were recommended to WCI Sewage by Biorock and are pleased to say that it was a very good recommendation to have. Naomi and David answered queries either by phone or email promptly and pleasantly. The installation proceeded smoothly starting early on the day agreed and finishing on time. David took care of contacting building control and septic tank emptying so there was nothing we had to organise separately. The men were always on site early and easy to get on with.”
Gillian & Peter Tettmar
White Cottage, June 2013
“Thankfully we engaged WCI to advise us with the design for our replacement domestic sewage system, and the advice, knowledge and positive approach from both you and David was invaluable. You have been extremely patient with us and the weather. The treatment plant and reed bed were simple to install and construct and at long last we have a system that not only works but it works really well! It was a welcome relief to find a local company to help us, thank you for all that you did.”
Bovey Cottage, June 2013
“David’s advice and clear explanations from the start were reassuring. The team were punctual, efficient and got on with the job: everything you’d want PLUS they landscaped the area, leaving it better than it had been before the job was done. We are very pleased with the end result.”
The Spinney, May 2013
Get in touch
Call WCI01984 623404