How fantastic it is to be able to finally shower with filtered rainwater. To know that the water we have been using has been sitting in the tanks waiting for us over the months prior to us moving in. It was early January when the plumber and I met on a sunny afternoon to make sure that all the systems were working properly. We found small leaks which needed repairing. The Greywater System needed a good flushing out and how great it was to see that it was pumped up to the top garden without any drama. By the time we were ready to move in all systems were up and running. It was just a matter of observing how they operated and how we related to them.
There are some idiosyncrasies of course. Given we are on a tank system which is pumped into the house there is a small delay when we use the taps before the pump kicks in and then there is a jump in the water pressure. We have become accustomed to this already. The hot water system is working really well and is even super hot in the early morning.
On the occasional overcast days recently it has just managed to get us by. I don’t generally have hot showers for health reasons, so Gran is our gauge on how cool the water is and she’s not mentioned anything as yet. It’s also great to be able to drink water straight from the shower. Clean, filtered, rain water.
We are now into Autumn and are receiving small top ups of rainwater each week through the odd nightly rain shower or downfall during the day. So we are over the threat of running out altogether which means we have managed to do with the two large tanks we have over three very dry months. I have not installed our rain gauge yet, it would have been handy to know exactly how much we did receive here during that time, but for now there is always next summer.
8 thoughts on “Rainwater”
Hi Julian, if I may ask – do you store the household water in normal polyethylene tanks? And what filtration do you use?
Hi Martin, of course you can ask!
The rainwater from our roof is captured into four separate fibre-glass tanks. They are suitable for potable water and are plumbed together. There are four so that we could get them under the house and situate them amidst the stumps of the house. When these fill the pump is triggered and pumps them up the hill to two 23,000 litre polyethylene tanks. Water is pumped back to the house to regulate it as it is a decent slope. Both pumps work on our solar pv system during daylight hours and grid during the night. So far.
All water from the tanks entering the house passes through a Puretec whole of house filter. Rainwater though it is, there is a lot of stuff in the environment now days and I wanted to be confident that we were not jeopardising our health in the long-term.
The filter unit itself cost us around $1,500 and was one of the absolute ‘must haves’ on our list for the house. Hope this helps Martin.
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Thanks Julian, very helpful! (Sorry I missed it when you replied)
You’re welcome Martin.
This is SO not my favorite topic, for unrelated reasons. It is nice that you are able to contain the water. In many regions, such harvesting is illegal because the watershed ‘belongs’ to a municipality downstream. I could not use any water from Zayante Creek that flowed through my garden.
It boggles me Tony, because our climates zones are quite similar and when you think of how much water a house uses each day it would stand to reason that houses captured their own water. Our house, for example, captures the water and stores it in the tanks. If this water was not contained, it would pass into our sewerage network, treated and passed on back out into the environment. If it by-passes the sewerage network it simply passes directly to our storm water system which I assume carries it coastward. We trap it, use it, some of it goes into the sewerage network, some is piped up to the garden where it becomes a part of the watershed again, only utilised by the garden beforehand. My main aim is to have it cycle even further and more pervasively through our system before it becomes part of the ‘watershed’ once again. Rainwater, being owned by a municipality sounds somewhat autocratic.
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Well, I neglected to explain why I dislike the topic so much. To be very brief, I used to be a very respected horticulturist and garden columnist here. Someone wanting to market his rainwater harvesting systems used me as his spokesman (endorsing his products and such), knowing that I could not afford an attorney to stop him from doing so. It was a serious problem that seriously damaged my reputation and career.
Understood. Not good.
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