Category Archives: Case Studies

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.

Resources
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. 

START COLLECTING RAINWATER 

 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.

START STORING RAINWATER 

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.

START TREATING RAINWATER

 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.

START PUMPING RAINWATER

The Versatility of the Gutter Mate Filter and Diverter

Customer Review

When building our completely off-grid house, we were reliant upon collecting rainwater which is stored in a very large, underground tank. This is then pumped into the house, on-demand, after first going through a water treatment plant.

Our main concern, given the abundance of trees on our land, was to ensure that the underground tank didn’t get clogged with leaves and debris coming down the gutters and fall pipes.  Whilst there are devices that can be put into the gutters themselves, these can’t stop everything. (Also cleaning gutters involves steps or ladders, which can be dangerous.  The cleaning of the Gutter Mate is done with your feet firmly on the ground).

Searching for a solution on the internet, I came across Gutter Mate and purchased seven (7) sets, one for each fall pipe on our house and outbuildings.  They have worked like a dream, stopping large amounts of debris from polluting our underground tank.  One of the main advantages is that they are so very easy to clean.

Simon was able to position the Gutter Mate almost at ground level which enabled him to just look down into the filter to inspect for debris.  Cleaning was a 30 second job.  Because of the design of the Gutter Mate, the diverter outlet was capped off with the blanking cap provided and the main outlet from the filter was used taking all the flow from the downpipe.

The use of the GutterMate Filters has eliminated the need for the filter in the underground tank and the associated issues with cleaning such a filter.  With the GutterMate Filter anyone can inspect and clean the filter, this is not the case with in tank or underground filters.

This is a very good product and the support from the Company has been first class.

By Simon Cutting, Guttermate Customer

Richmond Park Rainwater Harvesting System and Installation

In May 2015 Gutter Mate installed a  rainwater harvesting system at The Royal Richmond Park in London. The park is a national nature reserve. The Richmond Park Rainwater Harvesting System and Installation was part of the park’s Nature Trail Project in which ponds are located.  At the Royal Richmond Park installation we provided:

  • A bespoke rainwater harvesting installation
  • Expert advice & professional attention
  • A system to suit the park’s space and requirements
  • Competitive pricing

Gutter Mate Rainwater Harvesting Systems and Installations have a proven record. Contact us today to find our more about how we can assist you. Working with Gutter Mate means that your project will receive the highest level of expert advice and professional attention, matched with the best equipment at competitive pricing. Find out more.

The Gutter Mate Installation at Richmond Park

For Gutter Mate, every rainwater harvesting system should start with the Gutter Mate Diverter and Filter, which applies the first phase of filtration to rainwater diverted from the drainpipe, whilst also acting as a major asset in protecting soakaways in all properties.

Haydon Robinson and the GutterMate Diverterr
Haydon Robinson installing a Gutter Mate Diverter & Filter

In May 2015 Gutter Mate installed a  rainwater harvesting system at The Royal Richmond Park in London. The park is a national nature reserve. The installation was part of the park’s Nature Trail Project in which ponds are located. In dry months the ponds lost too much water, so Gutter Mate installed a simple and effective rainwater harvesting system which pumps collected rainwater in to the ponds when needed. The pump used was a multi-stage submersible pump.

Rainwater Harvesting at Richmond Park Ponds

 
A 10,000 litre storage system is used to collect rainwater using a Vortex rainwater collection filter. As can be seen from the photographs, debris issues were a major concern from leaves and moss on the barn roof. The filter has solved that issue. This system or similar, is an ideal solution for farm buildings, providing drinking water and wash-down water for livestock. 
 
Richmond Park Rainwater Harvesting Tanks
 
Gutter Mate can advise you on installing the best rainwater harvesting system for your property or project. Contact Gutter Mate today.
 

The Four Seasons of Rainwater Collection

Ideas & Tips for Re-using Rainwater in Summer, Autumn, Winter & Spring

Rainwater in the summer

What’s next for this summer?

If you run out of water during a dry spell, it’s the ideal time to inspect and clean your water butt or tank. It’s also the time when you should consider how you use your rainwater harvesting system and ideas you may have for modifying it.

Modifying your system at a time when your tank is empty saves you loosing water if you have to drain down later.

If you have sludge or silt at the bottom of the tank, has it started to smell since the water has gone or did it smell with the water in it? If so, you should consider the Plan T water treatment.

If you don’t already have a Gutter Mate Rainwater Filter now’s the time to get one. If you want the best quality filtration, also purchase the Fine Mesh Insert accessory.

Rainwater in the autumn

Throughout autumn, leaves and moss will invade your guttering and water butt, if protection is not in place.
The most efficient and cost effective solution is to fit the Gutter Mate Filter, which will provide three benefits:

  • The Gutter Mate will eliminate the need to climb ladders or steps to clean gutters
  • The Gutter Mate will filter all the water going to your water butt or tank
  • The Gutter Mate will protect your soakaway from silting up

As rainfall increases and the growing season comes to an end, you can use the excess rainwater for a variety of tasks, such as washing the car or feeding your house plants.

Autumn and winter months are the dirtiest for cars, especially if the Highways Departments are salting the roads – so you’ll need to wash off the salt as quickly as possible to avoid corrosion or damage to wheel arches and the underside of the car, as they’re the most vulnerable.

A high pressure car wash should do the trick.

Rainwater in the winter

Batten down the hatches – what will you do with the excess rainwater water?

Don’t waste it by putting it into the drains!  This not only creates additional costs for the water companies, but in extreme rain conditions can cause the sewage treatment works to overload, therefore forcing the water company to allow raw sewage into the nearest river.

The solution is to put the excess water back into the ground, either by means of a soakaway or a system of irrigation pipes laid on the surface of the ground around your garden. The advantage of irrigation is that it disperses the water over the full area of your garden. When spring arrives, the soil will be well watered for your plants to get a good start for the growing season.

If necessary, excess water can also provide the opportunity to empty your water butts and tanks for cleaning, although the lack of water butt or tank use will have them quickly filling up again.

Rainwater in the spring

If you start your growing season early with seed planting or bringing on plants under cover, the demand for water starts as soon as the seeds germinate.

Make sure there are no leaks on your butts and tanks and that your watering equipment is serviced and in good condition for the spring and summer.

If in the past you’ve been watering by hand it may be the time to consider automating your watering. Gutter Mate provide a  solar irrigation kit, that will ensure your plants will not dry out if and when you go on holiday.

It might be a good idea to use the rainwater in your pressure washer to clean the patio (and other yard areas) in preparation for the summer.

If you have a pond, it may need refilling to freshen up the plants and fish. Excess rain water can also be channelled into your pond to keep the water fresh on a daily basis too.

Re-using rainwater throughout the year

If you have any questions about re-using rainwater during the four seasons, please contact us

Top Tips for Using Rainwater Domestically & Commercially

Did you know that rainwater can be used (instead of mains water) for a huge number of activities and tasks domestically and commercially (inside and outside).

As an alternative water source, rainwater recycling can help reduce typical household water usage by up to 70%. Utility bill reductions can make a real difference to your household expenses too.

However, rainwater should not be used as a replacement for drinking water, especially in heavily populated areas where soot, grime and commercial debris can settle.

Rainwater can be used throughout spring, summer, autumn and winter for a multitude of tasks:

  • In spring: great for pressure washing your patio or yard in preparation for the summer and for seed germination too
  • In summer: excellent for when hosepipe bans may come into force, the selection of storage will be controlled by cost and space available. Water butts are fine, but limited in the amount of water they can store or use of larger tanks, which can be either above or below ground.
  • In autumn: when you are spending more time indoors, using rainwater in your home for flushing toilets or washing machine utilises a larger proportion of your stored rain water. This is the time of year when the Gutter Mate rainwater diverter is most useful. The leaves and moss, which would collect in the guttering, can be safely washed down into the Gutter Mate diverter, which would be situated at a convenient height for maintenance. No need for ladders to clean guttering.
  • In winter: perfect for washing off salt, grit and grime from your car during one of the dirtiest seasons of the year

Accompanying tanks and water butts are available in variety of sizes, so make sure you choose your rainwater harvesting system capacity wisely. Larger rainwater tanks are more beneficial as you can store higher quantities of water during the wet seasons for use during dry periods.

For larger-capacity requirements and where space is limited, consider using two smaller tanks instead of one.

Ideal for homes, rental properties (not flats), bungalows and town houses, rainwater is the perfect mains-water replacement for the applications listed below. So how can rainwater be utilised domestically?

Using rainwater inside your home or property

  • Clothes washing & laundry – connect your washing machine to your tank
  • Toilet flushing – gain mains water usage savings
  • Children’s fun water activities
  • Watering houseplants
  • Pets drinking water

Using rainwater outside your home or property

For washing:

  • Car and vehicle washing
  • Pressure washing and cleaning
  • Patio and yard washing
  • Pet washing

For watering:

  • Gardens / Allotments
  • Sprinkler systems for lawns and borders
  • Irrigation systems – gravity & pump
  • Pond top up & circulation
  • Ornamental water supply

For recreation:

  • Swimming pools
  • Paddling pools
  • Water slides
  • Children’s fun water fights

For building work:

  • Construction activities
  • Concrete mixing
  • Site Toilets

Using rainwater for commercial or public service applications

Ideal for horticultural setups, rainwater can also be used inside and outside the following establishments to save on current (costly) mains-water utility bills:

  • Plant nurseries
  • Commercial growers
  • Garden Centres
  • Sports ground irrigation (golf, cricket, football and recreational)
  • Commercial offices incl factories and communal buildings
  • Schools and colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Process Water / Cooling Water / Wash Down Water – for process or production plants

Benefit from using rainwater throughout your home or commercial property? Find out why our award-winning rainwater diverters are your best option or contact us now to discuss your ideas and requirements for complete rain water systems or individual items for use with rain water.