James Finlayson is a green freelance writer. He become interested in water conservation issues when he first started working for http://www.londonpumps.co.uk, where he still works today. In his spare time James loves to cook and grow his own veg.
Me: Hi James, I know you are passionate about water conservation – can you share your thoughts on the subject with Green Jam Jar readers?
JF: Gallons of one of our most important natural resources falls all around us and leaks into the ground almost daily and many of us do nothing about it. Of course, this natural resource is nothing other than water. On average, each person uses about 150 litres of water per day, and for many, that water comes through our pipes from water treatment plants which purify the water so that we can drink it. But the majority of our water usage is for purposes other than drinking, like watering plants and lawns, washing clothes and vehicles, and flushing the toilet.
150 litres of water per day? Wow! So basically we are wasting the valuable resource that is drinking water. What can we do about it?
JF: Harvesting rain water is a great way to save on purified water, and it helps the environment, which is always a good thing! You can also save money on water bills. Another advantage to harvesting rain water is that you get to have your very own source of water. This may not seem like a great benefit, but it will in those hot summer days when the country’s suffering from a sudden drought and there’s barely any water coming from the taps. You’ll be the envy of your neighbours with all your harvested rain!
Me: What’s the best way to go about collecting rain water?
JF: The best way to collect and save rain water is to set up a harvesting system. There are plenty of different types of systems, ranging from simple water butts to whole house water systems like the Lowara rainwater harvesting system. Most systems work in the same way.
Me: Can you explain how a water harvesting system works?
JF: Rain water is collected from the drains around the roof of your house. The water is diverted down a pipe to your water butt. This is where you decide if you want a simple butt or something that will supply rain water directly to your house. If you choose something more professional, the water is then be filtered to get rid of dirt and residue from the environment. It then drains into a collection tank that can be buried out of sight beneath your garden.
This it is then hooked up to your house so you can use cleansed rainwater to run your washing machine and flush your toilet.
A simpler water butt is great if you just want to use rainwater to water plants in the garden or wash your car. But if your household uses a lot of water you may want to connect it to a good harvesting system with pump. This basically provides your home with a second source of readily usable water, and the best thing is, you will never have to pay for rain water.
Me: Sounds like a terrific idea. Thanks James for the useful information!