01 Dec Rainwater Harvesting
We are in the midst of an energy crisis and with our utility bills in the UK increasing drastically over the last few years we are under more pressure than ever to ensure that we take a greener approach to our everyday lives.
As the leading basement experts in the South East and London, we recognise that having a basement added to your home isn’t always the most eco-friendly of home improvements. That’s why whenever it is possible, we employ eco-friendly materials and techniques in the design of our luxury basements.
The flow of water through the ground (particularly in cities) is constantly under threat as more concrete enters the earth through construction; however, with strategies and technologies such as rainwater harvesting, we can ensure that our basements, at the very least, don’t make things worse and in many cases improve water and drain usage.
We work with high-tech materials which are sustainable and responsibly sourced as a matter of course. Many of our basements are finished with the latest energy-saving technology, insulation, and recycling capabilities.
In our latest article, we take a look at how harvesting rainwater can improve your eco-friendly score and save you money on your water bill. If you would like to speak to a member of our team about your basement options, give us a call on 01628 826066 or email us.
What is rainwater harvesting?
A fairly self-explanatory title, it is essentially the collection of rainwater for reuse around the home. The water is, obviously, non-potable and is usually stored and used for flushing toilets, washing machines, and for watering gardens along with other external uses.
Harvesting and reusing rainwater reduces your home’s reliance on the mains water supply which minimises the pressure on the supply and can cut your bills significantly. No more hosepipe bans for you! You’ll even decrease the pressure on your mains drainage usage as harvesting collects water run-off and, can help reduce the risk of local flooding.
This is particularly relevant in London. The sewer system is more than 150 years old in places and, was originally designed to cater to the demands of a significantly smaller population. Strategies such as harvesting rainwater put less strain on this aged drainage system.
Harvesting for a basement
We have been working with clients to install such systems for some time now. We usually locate the harvesting tank in the existing garden; in most cases, the primary collection point is the roof of the existing house. This is already equipped with guttering and downpipes to feed the tank and, while not necessarily clean, the water coming off the roof will contain fewer contaminants than that coming from the ground.
In the case of harvesting for a basement, surface water chambers pump directly into the harvesting tank as opposed to discharging into the existing drainage system. The existing roof rainwater pipes will also be diverted down to the basement and into the surface water chamber which will then be pumped up into the harvesting tank.
The harvesting tank comes fitted with a pumping system and an overflow drain which will discharge directly into the existing drainage system when it’s above the maximum level. This trickle of overflow is a far friendlier usage of the drainage system and helps to decrease the risk of local flooding.
It’s important to prevent leaves and other debris from entering the tank via gutter systems, but in theory, rainwater harvesting setups require little upkeep. There are sophisticated self-cleaning options available for when you need them most. When the tank is full any excess drains off to the surface water drainage system as normal; this overflow will also allow any floating contaminants to drain off.
Get in Touch
If you are thinking about undertaking a basement project, extending your property, or you are an architect who needs some help with a basement project make sure you give us a call. We are the leading specialists in basement conversions and design. You can call us on 01628 826066 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for all the latest updates.