Holistic future water management to prevent flooding and stress on mains supply

Changing weather patterns of too much or too little rain has meant that certain areas in the UK are officially in drought while others are experiencing flooding. In the future, the changing rainfall may mean this imbalance may happen in the same areas at different times of the year. Usually these problems are looked at as two different issues but to plan for the future there should be a viable holistic approach.

Sometimes the answers to these problems are closer to home.

Collecting fast flowing rainwater off the roof can help alleviate the effects of these changes. Harvested rainwater can be used for toilets, washing machines or outside use which can significantly reduce the stress on mains supply. There is no need to flush toilets with drinking quality water bought from miles away.

Rainwater is filtered and stored in an underground tank and then pumped back into the house either directly to each appliance or by a gravity system. As flushed water does not have to be dramatically reduced this also helps to keep drains free flowing.

In the same process of collecting roof water, this can act as part of a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS). Our RainActiv combines the benefits of rainwater harvesting and also a controlled and measured SuDS solution to prevent flooding. In this case part of the volume in the harvesting tank is for home use and extra capacity for storm water which can then be introduced back into the drains. This can be as low as 0.05l/sec per unit so that pipes are able to cope with the return for treatment. In trial sites RainActiv has prevented minimal discharge into the drainage system during peak storm events. Developments can be designed so that there would be a variable discharge. Proximal units to the central drainage point having the largest SuDS capacity so that they would rarely discharge into the system.

Rainwater harvesting aids water usage and drainage strategy in planning applications for a long term environmental solution.

Established in 2008 RainWater Harvesting Ltd is a family run company which design and manufacture rainwater harvesting systems in the UK for UK homes. The business was formed after having a house extension built and deciding that a rainwater harvesting system would be a beneficial addition. Our in house technical design team developed both direct feed and award winning gravity fed Rain Director mains back up systems. Starting from scratch meant we could put fresh ideas to the market. The Rain Director is WRAS approved and therefore accepted by all water providers as being compliant.

We cannot be sure how our rainfall will change but there are ways we can plan for any possibility. We are delighted to represent the whole of the rainwater harvesting industry in the concept of collecting rainwater at source as a viable contribution to a sustainable future water supply.

Rainwater Harvesting Ltd have a working system at their base in Peterborough which we are happy to demonstrate.

We are exhibiting at Futurebuild Stand F142.