Thinking beyond your faucet will lead you to great sources of free water. Called everything from a rainwater collection system to rainwater harvesting or even a rainwater catchment — this viable alternative to the tap is not a new concept. But with North America getting green, rainwater collection systems are gaining in popularity.

Water is a vital element to survive and while it seems plentiful, we should be conscious of other countries that deal with droughts, conserve when we can and be as energy efficient as possible.

While cities like Las Vegas use recycled water, rainwater tanks are common in countries such as Germany and Australia. Reducing costs and being energy efficient is something worth tapping into!

What is a rainwater collection system?

Rainwater is free water — and if you’re collecting it, it’s like the sky is pouring down savings. A rainwater collection system is when you set up a method of catching this natural liquid and use it for functional purposes.

This energy efficient access to water can be performed every time it rains. Traditionally, people like to set up some kind of structure involving gutters and roofs that will let the water travel to a vessel or even large cisterns to collect.

Now, you’re probably thinking about how old school this sounds or maybe you associate this idea with farming —but the reality is, households and businesses can make excellent use of this energy efficient water source.

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How can this help my business?

Relatively clean and completely free, rainwater is the most energy efficient supply of water for all your landscaping needs — it can also provide additional water for irrigation, sporting grounds, foliage or gardens. Because rainwater has no chlorine, it’s in fact a better choice for thirsty plants.

Restaurants and hotel accommodations often feature aesthetics that help create ambiance in their establishments such as gardens and fountains that could be run completely off rainwater. Not only will it save on water costs, but it’s socially and environmentally responsible.

Some businesses may also opt for using rainwater for grey water purposes such as laundry, toilets, pools and even showers.  Some companies may find use for this energy efficient liquid for industrial processes instead of using municipally treated water. Even just having a rainwater tank shows you’re self-sufficient, making an effort to be energy efficient and can reduce storm-water runoff from your business. The technology is simple, the system is flexible and to maintain your rainwater collection system is both inexpensive and easy.

If you tune into your local weather station, you can determine your annual average precipitation, measure the square foot of your collection surface and figure out how much rainwater you can get using this awesome rainwater collection calculator!

Encouragement from an expert

Graduate of the University of Adelaide, with a masters in water resources management, Maureen Robinson, thinks using the rainwater collection system method is good for providing a supplementary water source in addition to mains water — which is typically treated to a drinkable standard.

“Water conservation is a global issue and with the increasing pressures of climate change and population growth — businesses should be proactive in improving their water efficiency,” says Robinson.

“A standard fixture in most Australian homes is a rainwater tank — which is especially helpful in watering the garden during hot dry summers,” says Robinson.

She’d like to see more rainwater tanks in modern businesses and restaurants — especially those that flaunt their environmental sustainability initiative and earth friendly way of thinking.



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