Why Harvest Rainwater & What You Can Do with it

Why Harvest Rainwater & What You Can Do with it

With the increasing unpredictability of the British weather, there hasn’t ever been a better time to harvest rainwater for use around your home and garden. It may sound more complex than it is but, in basic terms, all you’re doing is collecting water that would have been wasted to put to use. In this post, we’re looking at what benefits there are to collecting rainwater, how you can collect water and what you can do once you have it.

Benefits of Harvesting Rainwater

Harvesting rainwater can have some huge benefits for both you and the environment. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the key reasons why you should be collecting it:

Eco-Friendly – Recycled water cuts down on the demands of the mains system as you’re using water that would have gone down your drain, for some of the main sources of water waste.

Save Money – As you won’t need to use mains water as often, your water bill will be reduced. Depending on how much you save, these effects will hugely vary but every little can help.

Store Water for Summer – You can store water for the summer months when we’re most likely to be hit by droughts and hosepipe bans.

Reduce Mains Pressure – The more people that choose to collect and use rainwater, the less pressure will be put on the mains system. Maintenance won’t be as frequent.  

Help Reduce Flooding & Erosion – As the rainwater will be collected during heavy rains, the chances of flooding and soil erosion won’t be as high. This is a huge benefit during the winter and wet seasons.

You’re Covered in Emergencies – If the worst happens and you’re cut off from the water main, you have access to water if required.

It’s Free & Simple – Although there will be some set-up costs involved, these are minimal and will be recouped over time with your savings. Once you’re up and running, there’s very little required in terms of expense or effort. Basic maintenance may be needed but systems are generally self-sustaining.

water collection


How to Harvest Rainwater

When it comes to rainwater, you can collect water in water butts or water tanks. The water is collected from gutters, both open and closed, and siphoned off before it can go down the drain. Water is then stored for when you need it or directed to somewhere in your home.

Water harvesting systems come in all different shapes and sizes, so depending on the size or your home and room you have available, you can choose a system that suits you. Keep in mind: the more water you collect, the more water you’re able to save. You can also decide between above and below ground storage.

Water may need to be filtered before you can use it for some of the jobs below. For example, if washing clothes, filtered water is recommended.

Do you want to bring a taste of nature into your home? Why not add a flower wall mural to brighten up your space. Can’t find anything that suits your space? Create your own with a custom wall mural.


Uses of Harvested Water

There are many ways you can use the water you have collected around your home and garden. Check out just a few of the ideas below.

Filling the Toilets

Rainwater can be used to fill your toilet cistern for flushing. It’s estimated by hooking the water up to the toilet, you’ll save around 30% of the water a household uses daily. Not only does this save water, but it also saves the unnecessary treatment of water which is then used to flush the toilet.

If you are using water in your toilet, you will have to connect the collected water to the cistern. You’ll also need to ensure there’s a mains backup, just in case you run out of water.

Washing Clothes

When washing your clothes, it’s estimated that between 15 and 40% of the water you use weekly is used, depending on your family size etc. Like with flushing the toilet, water that’s used for washing clothes, doesn’t need to be treated to the level of drinking water. Using rainwater, you’ll save between 39 and 53 litres per wash.


watering your plants Watering Your Plants

An ideal way to use collected rainwater is to water both your indoor and outdoor plants. It’s also thought that rainwater is better for your plants than mains water, as it’s naturally softer and filled with minerals and nutrients, which can help with the health of your plant.

If you love your garden, you’ll not have to worry about the dreaded hosepipe ban during a long and hot summer. As you’ve collected your own water, you’re able to use it as you please.

You can also use an irrigation system with some water butts, helping you water in a more eco-friendly and effective way.

Washing Your Car

Another area that suffers during a hosepipe ban, harvested water can be used to wash your car during a dry period. You’ll also save a great deal of water, especially when compared to using a hose.

washing your car


Water can be used by hand or in a power washer for use both externally and internally. If using the water indoors, it will likely be best to filter it before use. Water can be used to wash windows, floors, patios, decking etc.


If you’re composting your waste, it’s essential that your compost is damp. If not, the waste will not biodegrade. Add a little bit of water to your compost pile, especially during the summer.

Pets & Animals

Unlike humans, pets and livestock can drink rainwater without any danger to their health. You can also use it to give them a bath and keep them clean. Just make sure the water is filtered if they’re drinking it.

Refill Ponds & Bird Baths

Use the water to top up your pond, bird bath, water feature etc. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, you may also be able to use it in this, however, you’ll need to double check the chlorine you use.

What You Shouldn’t Use Rainwater for

Although there are many uses of harvested rainwater, unless you’re 100% safe, you should avoid using it with anything you ingest and personal bathing. If using the water when eating or drinking, you can leave yourself open to bacteria and organisms in the water. For bathing, if the water is vapourised, you may breathe in potentially harmful bacteria.

If you are looking to use water for these purposes, you will likely need to use a UV disinfection system. This will help to kill the bacteria in the water and help to make it safe. Be careful when doing this and consult an expert for any advice.

Are you ready to harvest rainwater now?   Find your solution at Gutter Mate today.



Farm Rainwater Washdown Systems

Tending to a farm can take up a lot of time and effort especially when it comes to cleaning.  There are often several different types of animals producing faecal waste every day; from cow sheds to pigsty’s and fields of much, it can be a depressing feeling knowing that some of this waste needs to be cleaned up and moved out the way.   

However, by investing in one of our farm rainwater washdown systems you can make light work of it.  The farm rainwater system reduces labour intensive work and requires much less attention.  You can pump collected rainwater through the dirt and wash it away. 

Milking parlour washdown systems are very similar and can also help with the cleansing process whilst UV units can help with teats and udders.  Similarly, the washdown system can also be used for nurseries and glass houses.

If you are interested in finding out more about our farm rainwater washdown systems, please call us on 01462 429 765 and ask for Haydon.

The Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter – A peace of mind solution to rainwater collection.

The Dangers of a blocked gutter

A historic issue with the operation of guttering on a house is and has been the build-up of debris, moss and leaves in their gutters. The main cause of this has been the standard practise of roofing contractors or DIY people of fitting what is called a bell or balloon type strainer in the top of the downpipe to prevent debris, leaves, moss from going down the downpipe. This may be done with good intensions; however, the leaves and moss collect around the strainer and block it. This means someone must climb a ladder to clean it, with the inherent danger of falling off the ladder. When fitting the Gutter Mate Filter Diverter, we recommend you remove the bell/balloon type strainer out of the top of the downpipe and allow the rain water to wash the debris down the downpipe into the Gutter Mate Filter, this goes a long way to helping prevent blockages in the guttering. Water build-up in the guttering could also lead to the roofing felt absorbing the water leading to mould and damp entering the house or the weight of the water stuck in the guttering could fetch the guttering off the house.

Unchecked debris entering water butts and rain water tanks can then lead to the blockages within the rain water tanks, butts and barrels as well as soakaways. Blocked Soakaways can be very expensive to renew compared to the cost of the Gutter Mate Filter Diverter which is £28.99.

Dirt getting into your tanks and barrels leads to complications as it blocks up the flow of water leading to an inefficient and ineffective water harvesting system. This is where the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter provides you with a simple yet effective solution.

The Solution

The Gutter Mate can be fitted and maintained at ground level, meaning, you can avoid the dangers of climbing up ladders, making it easy for anyone of any ability to inspect, you just look into the top and should it be necessary, clean out the Gutter Mate Filter Diverter. All you do, is lift off the filter top, lift out the filter basket, turn it upside down and tap it to get the debris to fall out. In less than 30 seconds you will have cleaned the filter and replaced the parts– we recommend you inspect once a week, but it really depends on your location and the weather!

Why the Gutter Mate stands out?

Standard downpipe diverters have no filtration and unlike the Gutter Mate Filter Diverter you cannot inspect it or clean it without removing the downpipe.  Many other filter diverters only filter the water going into the water butt or tank, the Gutter Mate filters all the water going down the downpipe protecting soakaways. The Gutter Mate is an award-winning diverter and filter which can filter all the water before it enters the water butt, tank, drain or soakaway.

diverter filter black


The innovative design prevents blockages occurring in the water butts, tanks or soakaways by cleverly filtering out the debris coming down the downpipe. The unique filter can save you from having blockages which can be expensive and time consuming to resolve.  


Not only does it save you money by preventing blockages and cleaning costs, it can also save you money by providing filtered rainwater for use in your garden and home. On average, every person in the UK uses 150 Litres of water each day. If even a small amount of this can be used from your own recycled rainwater, it can substantially help reduce your water bills. The filtered rain water can be used for household appliances such as washing machine or toilets. The Gutter Mate is designed to automatically cut off the water supply to the water butt when it is full, diverting the rain back into the downpipe.


We also offer the Gutter Mate in 3 different colours; black, brown and white which you can choose according to the colour of your guttering. Allowing you to find the perfect Gutter Mate to suit your guttering and downpipe, to look great in your garden. The Gutter Mate is recommended by leading agencies such as ‘WHICH?’ and ‘Waterwise’, which is the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK. If you want to know more about our Gutter Mates and find the best one for you, visit our Gutter Mate diverters and filters page!

Shop Gutter Mate Diverter & Filters Now!

Guttermate Diverter & Filter


UK Gardening Shows and Festivals for 2018
Everything iin the garden is beautiful!


January & February:

January 28th to March 12th – Scottish Snowdrop Festival, multiple gardens open in Scotland (visitscotland.com or rhs.org.uk).
February 12th to 14th – RHS Early Spring Plant Fair, Lawrence and Lindley Halls (rhs.org.uk)


March 15th to 2nd April – Falmouth Spring Flower Show, Cornwall, TR11 3EF. A local institution; rare and exotic flora (01326 313553 – falmouth.co.uk).
March 17th – Plant Hunter’s Fair, 10am-4pm, National Memorial Arboretum. The plant hunter’s year begins (01270 811443 – planthuntersfairs.co.uk).
March 19th – Rare Plant Fair, 10am-4pm, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset. First Rare Plant Fair of the year (0845 468 1368 – rareplantfair.co.uk).
March 20th – RHS Spring Free Day – Free Event – RHS Garden Harlow Carr, HG3 1QB (rhs.org.uk)


April 7th to 8th – Spring Flower Show, Boconnoc House, Cornwall. The famous early showcase for Cornish talent, gardens and home grown produce (07734 366504 – cornwallgardensociety.org.uk).
April 13th to 15th – RHS Flower Show, Bute Park, Cardiff. Kick start your gardening year at this flower show extravaganza (0844 338 7502 – rhs.org.uk).
April 27th to 28th April – Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival, 10am-5pm, Powderham Castle, Devon. Specialist nurseries and popular Devon growers. Live music, local food and top-quality garden (tobygardenfest.co.uk).


May 10th to 13th – RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Three Counties Showground, Malvern. Spectacular show gardens, Floral Marquee food demonstrations (0844 338 7502 – rhs.org.uk).
May 19th – 27th – Chelsea Fringe, London. Alternative garden festival celebrating community growing, outdoor performance, botanical art, walks, talks and events (chelseafringe.com).
May 22th to 26th – RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London. The pinnacle of horticultural excellence with innovative show gardens by the world’s leading designers and the finest displays of plants (0844 338 7502 – rhs.org.uk).


June 1st to 3rd – Gardening Scotland, Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston. Show gardens, exhibitors, outdoor living festival and plant fair (0131 333 0965 – gardeningscotland.com).
June 6th to 8th – RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP. Major event in the gardening calender. Loads to see and do (0844 995 9664 – rhs.org.uk)
June 24-26 – Grow London, House & Garden Fair, Olympia, London. An inspiring day out bursting with ideas on how to transform urban spaces (0844 412 4623 – houseandgardenfestival.com/event/grow-london).

Win a Gutter Mate Rainwater Recycling Kit


Save Money and Water! Win a Gutter Mate Rainwater Recycling Kit

Gutter Mate are celebrating the launch of their new website www.guttermate.co.uk with a competition that gives you the chance to win a Space Saving Rainwater Recycling Kit worth £150.

Gutter Mate encourages people to save money, water and the environment by recycling rainwater to use in your garden and for household chores. It’s an award-winning eco-business based in Hitchin, which specialises in selling rainwater harvesting products such as water butts, pumps and rainwater collectors, including their award winning Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter which allows you to collect and filter rainwater straight from your property’s downpipe.

Each person in the UK uses approximately 150 litres of water per day and about a third of this is wasted; running down the plughole or being flushed away without being used.
Using collected rainwater for activities like washing your car or watering the garden will result in substantial savings on your metered water bills. It takes up to 9 litres to fill just one watering can. If you wash your car with a hose you can use as much as 540 litres per hour.

Gutter Mate knows that recycling rainwater is one way that everyone can reduce their carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment.

For your chance to win Gutter Mate’s Everyday Gardener Space Saving Rainwater Harvesting Kit which consists of a:


Answer the following question:

Approximately how many litres of water does each person in the UK use per day?

Enter by emailing your answer to hello@guttermate.co.uk by March 31, 2016.

Why is rainwater harvesting important to the environment?

The world is developing rapidly and the pace of change is increasing. The world’s ever-expanding population combined with climate change anxieties are changing opinion on the world’s water resources.

Climate change is currently at the forefront of the world’s political agenda at Paris COP21. It’s vital that we recongise the relationship between water and climate. Here we address the question – why is rainwater harvesting important to the environment?

Water impacts our quality of life. The UN has reported a direct correlation between poverty, hunger and water stress. With the world’s climate continuing to increase, so does the risk of drought. South Africa and California are just two examples of where devastating droughts have occurred in 2015.

Severe drought is bad for the ecosystem, agriculture and the economy.  Decreased agricultural production means the cost of food rises. But, drought runs deeper than that, it is also about economic inequality.  Those who live in poverty are those that suffer worst.  Even in the developed state of California it has been reported that racial disparities and political dysfunction are at the heart of the state’s water crisis.

In the UK drought is relatively common, with one happening every 5-10 years. In 2010-2012 England and Wales suffered a prolonged two year drought, making this one of the most significant droughts of the last 100 years.

“Join other eco-conscious homeowners by re-using what falls from the sky”


The fact is that the world depends on a reliable, clean supply of drinking water to sustain our health. We also need water for agriculture, energy production, navigation, recreation, and manufacturing. Many of these uses put pressure on water resources, stresses that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. In many areas, climate change is likely to increase water demand while water supplies shrink.

Collecting and Recycling rainwater is a way that many countries can reduce the risk of drought. Find out more about the benefits of rainwater recycling and harvesting.

With the world’s population also increasing at a staggering rate, the possibility of not being able to feed the world is a real one.  It takes 200,000,000 litres per second to grow food for the planet. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that we need to increase agricultural production by 70% to feed the projected 9 billion people expected on the planet by 2050, but how do we produce enough water to fuel this agricultural production?

Increasingly, examples from around the world show that rainwater harvesting for domestic supply can positively address multiple issues regarding safe and reliable water supply, food and even income security, whilst reducing negative impacts on ecosystems.

In the past rainwater harvesting has been dismissed for being too costly, but in fact, the cost of implementation can often be less than other, more traditional engineered public water supply methods. 

Using harvested rainwater means zero energy consumption.  You will be saving money on your household water bills and reducing your carbon footprint.”


Installing one of Gutter Mate’s basic Rainwater Harvesting Packages at your home for example, means that you can virtually eliminate the need to use tap water for many outdoor and domestic uses, such as, watering the garden, washing the car, cleaning the windows and mopping the floors. Rainwater can be collected by installing a Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter to your downpipe.

Find out more about how to begin rainwater harvesting. In our post, 4 Steps to Rainwater Harvesting.

United States Envorinmental Protection Agency,
The Guardian, Rainwater Harvesting is Essential to Feed the World
UN MIllenium Project, http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/
The MET Office, http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/interesting/2012-drought

4 Simple Steps to Rainwater Recycling

In our latest blog you can learn how to recycle rainwater for you garden. As we all strive to make our lives more sustainable, rainwater recycling is one way in which you can reduce your environmental impact and save money at the same time.

Rainwater Harvesting or Rainwater Recycling as it’s commonly known, quite simply means the process by which rain water is collected and prepared for reuse. Rainwater Harvesting for your garden can be broken down into 4 steps, Rainwater Collection, Rainwater Storage, Rainwater Treatment and Rainwater Distribution. 

4 Simple Steps to Rainwater Recycling


Install the Gutter Mate Divert & Filter

Every rainwater harvesting system should start with the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter, which applies the first phase of filtration to rainwater diverted from the downpipe. A mesh insert can also be purchased for further filtration. 50cm hose provided with purchase. 


 4 Simple Steps to Rainwater Recycling

Choose Your Waterbutt

We sell a wide range of waterbutts ranging from 100L up to 250L capacity. There are also plenty of different styles to choose from depending on your personal taste, garden size and shape. Slimline or wallmounted waterbutts are great for small gardens. Waterbutt prices start from £45.  If you want to collect more rainwater we also sell tanks.


4 steps to rainwater recycling

Waterbutt Treatment

Gutter Mate’s Water Treatment Solution ensures the rainwater collected in your waterbutt or tank is fresh and ready for use. It prevents algae, contamination & smells. One bottle of treatment costs just £9.99 and it will also help to prevent your hose from discolouring.


 4 Simple Steps to Rainwater Recycling

Pump it!

If you’re happy using a good old fashioned watering can then you can skip this part, but if you’d rather connect a hosepipe and use the spray gun, then a water pump is required. The type of waterbutt pump you require will depend on the length of your hose/size of your garden.


The Benefits of using the Gutter Mate Diverter

Why Settle for Standard?

The unique Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter gives you a peace of mind solution to rain water collection. There are many benefits to using the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter as opposed to a standard diverter as part of your rainwater harvesting system, which is why it is our best selling and award winning product

5 Reasons why you should be using the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter

Not just a standard diverter - The Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter Basket

The removable filter basket makes it quick and easy to clean

Unlike a standard diverter, the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter can be cleaned without having to remove your downpipe. It’s easy for you to identify debris and blockages and it can be cleaned in less than 30 seconds.  The filter is a huge benefit as it ensures that rainwater is cleaned before it reaches your water butt or water tank.

Not just a standard diverter - No ladder needed for the GutterMate diverter & filter.

No need to remove your downpipe or use a ladder

Unlike a standard diverter, the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter can be installed and maintained at ground level. When it needs cleaning you don’t have to remove your downpipe to unblock it. Installing a Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter will save you time, energy and money and is an essential part of any rainwater collection system.

GutterMate Diverter & Filter - prevents drainage blockages

It prevents water butt and hose blockages 

Recycling rainwater should be something that makes your life easier not harder. The Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter is a hassle-free solution to rainwater collection. The filter system ensures that you won’t need to waste your time trying to remove blockages to your water butt or hose. 

Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter protects your soakaway

Avoid expensive blockages to your soakaway

The debris caught in your Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter works to prevent expensive blockages from occurring in your soakaway. Some of our customers have installed the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter for this reason alone. It is a multi-purpose product, collecting rainwater whilst protecting your soakaway.

Gutter Mate Diveter - It automatically stops diverting water when the butt is full

It automatically stops diverting water when the butt is full

Unlike standard diverters, the Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter has two outlets. Once your water butt or rainwater tank is full, water will divert to flow down your downpipe as normal. There is no risk of water spills or burst pipes. Having two outlets also gives your flexibility to divert water using either the diverter or main outlet. 

Start Recycling Rainwater in 2016

Gutter Mate is urging people to Go-Green by recycling rainwater for their home and garden in 2016.

With Climate Change currently at the forefront of world’s political agenda in Paris, it’s a fitting time for us all to review how we can change our own lives in order to help the environment. 

During COP21, The World Water Council has been campaigning to elevate the recognition for water and climate through the #ClimateIsWater initiative. Benedito Braga, President of The World Water Council, reminded government representatives that failing to address the relationship between water and climate puts our future in jeopardy.

As an award winning rain water recycling business, this is a sentiment that Gutter Mate shares. Company director Haydon Robinson, firmly believes that recycling rain water is one way that everyone can reduce their carbon footprint and has a positive impact on the environment and world that we live in.

“We believe that rainwater harvesting can make a real difference to the global climate change crisis. We want to see rainwater harvesting shift from being a niche practice to an everyday commodity. Every household in the UK and beyond should have a system installed by which rain water can be collected, stored and recycled.”

In 2011, Gutter Mate won Best Recycling Project at the Green Herts Awards for their Rainwater Diverter & Filter, which when installed to your downpipe diverts and filters rainwater to a storage facility like a waterbutt or tank.  Since then, thousands of Gutter Mate’s Diverters and Filters have been installed in homes and commercial buildings across the country, enabling them to recycle what falls from the sky.

Installing a basic rainwater harvesting system at your home does not have to break the bank. Having a simple system like a rainwater diverter & water butt, can virtually eliminate the need to use tap water for many outdoor and domestic uses, such as, watering the garden, washing the car, cleaning the windows and mopping the floors. We have some great deals on affordable rain water recycling packages that can be easily installed at home.

As well as having environmental benefits, people should also be motivated by the financial incentive. Using harvested rainwater means zero energy consumption.  You will be saving money on your household water bills as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

If you would like to discuss how to start recycling rainwater for your domestic home or garden or perhaps for a commercial building contact us today. Freephone: 01462 429 765. You may also find our blog 4 Steps to Rainwater Harvesting a useful starting point.


The Best Way To Keep Your Gutters Clean This Winter

No more clutter in your gutter!

5 Reasons why the Hedgehog Gutter Brush is the best way to keep your gutters clean this winter.

Fed up of climbing ladders to clean your gutters? Are blocked gutters and drains ruining your weekends? Want to reduce expensive maintenance costs? Save time and money with this award winning solution to gutter and drain maintenance.

The Benefits of using the Hedgehog Gutter Brush

How it works

The award winning Hedgehog Gutter Brush is a simple and effective way of keeping your gutters and drains clean for years to come. The brush spikes will prevent leaves and debris from clogging your gutter and drains.

The Benefits of using the Hedgehog Gutter Brush

Easy to install

No specialist knowledge is needed to install a Hedgehog Gutter Brush. It can be fitted in minutes and it adapts automatically to fit any shape gutter. It comes in 1m strips, but can be cut to size using a wire cutter. Once fitted into a clean system, clogged gutters and drains become a thing of the past.

The Benefits of using the Hedgehog Gutter Brush

An affordable solution 

Enjoy this maintenance free gutter guard from just £14.50. Not only will the Hedgehog Gutter Brush reduce your maintenance costs by up to 90%, it will also reduce your carbon output. No more ladders, no more blocked drains, no more expensive call-outs! 

Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter protects your soakaway

Protect your pathway drains

The Hedgehog Gutter Brush can also be used to protect your pathway drains, working to protect your home drainage system and soakaway. If you need to clean away debris it can be easily brushed away in one sweep. 

The Benefits of using the Hedgehog Gutter Brush

A Durable Solution

The Gutter Brush is a durable solution to gutter and drain maintenance. It’s virtually indestructible and comes with a no quibble 10 year guarantee. The Hedgehog Gutter Brush is a reputable product. It is listed on RIBA Product Selector as a recommended gutter guard.

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