The Advantages of Harvesting Rainwater
We all know the biggest advantages of harvesting rainwater, such as saving on water bills and helping to protect the environment, yada yada, so this article covers some of the lesser-known and more unique advantages to rainwater harvesting. In other words, this article doesn’t match the first 10 you just read on Google!
If you want to invest in harvesting water for indoor use, and you are prepared to make the investment, then you will save money on water bills, but if you want to keep your rainwater harvesting to a strictly outdoor matter, then there are advantages there too.
The Advantages of Harvesting Rainwater
The rainwater you collect is perfect for filling up water features, especially the ones with sprinklers that lose water because of the wind. The very first time you fill up your pond it should be done with tap water because rainwater may be too acidic. However, it is perfectly fine to top up your pond with rainwater, especially in the summer when there has not been much rain. There are certain species of fish and water life that thrive in rainwater because of the nutrients it brings in but be aware that these same nutrients will help algae thrive too. Experts at Tanks For Everything state that this type of recycling also has “the potential to reduce your household water bill, as you are utilising naturally harvested rainwater as opposed to relying on the grid.”
The Guilt – The Pleasure of “Not” Feeling Guilty…Plus Organic Gardening
There are still some people who feel guilty for leaving lights on and wasting water. It is not a case of wasting water that falls from the sky. Many people have no idea of the sheer weight of energy that is required to remove water, clean water, and then pump it back into a house. Even washing your dishes costs the environment a heavy toll (especially if you do it by hand).
Maybe you are one of the people who feels guilty watering the garden every other day during the peak of summer, or maybe you do not want chlorine and fluoride entering your organic compost heap or organic garden. There is a certain level of freedom to being able to spread water that you collected yourself.
The Mud – Altering More Than Just the PH of Your Soil
Some people avoid using tap water to water their gardens because they want to maintain a slightly acidic soil PH (it is good for things such as growing new apple trees). You may be one of the unlucky people who has a high clay content in your garden. This means that your grass goes sludgy during winter, and your ground cracks during the summer. What is worse is that areas of your garden will always have trouble with too much or too little water drainage, and trouble growing grass in certain areas.
One solution may be to put trees and shrubs in your garden, which is great in winter, but in summer you see how many roots have spread along the surface of the ground, and you see how quickly the ground cracks when things heat up. One solution is to strategically place your water collector(s) in places where sludge builds up. You then use the same water to water your plants. Another method is to mix sand into mud and reseed. Sawdust works too, but it takes longer to become effective where you can regrow the grass.
The Cleaning – From Algae-Covered Stonework to Expert Paintwork Maintenance
Suggesting that you clean anything with your possibly-stale water may seem nuts, but there are several advantages. If you are cleaning stonework without chemicals, then the acid in your rainwater may be just the thing for lifting algae, especially if used in conjunction with a pressure washer.
Many people are unaware how to professionally clean pristine vehicle paintwork. People with classic or luxury cars are often horrified when they see hand-washing stations using pressure washers. The first stage of cleaning is supposed to involve the gentle and flowing application of water to lift the first pieces of grit and dirt, moving on the water-assisted agitation to remove the small bits of grit and dirt that would otherwise micro-scratch (abrade) the paintwork when sponges are used. These initial soaking processes cost a lot of water, which is why it is good idea to start with rainwater (the acid from rain doesn’t harm paintwork), and then switch to tap water once the soaping stage begins.
Conclusion – What About Animals and Livestock?
Another reason for collecting rainwater is to feed your pets and/or your livestock. It is not advisable that you feed your pets rainwater, nor should you fill your fish tank with it, but livestock are typically fine with drinking rainwater. Just make sure that there are no indirect contaminants. For example, if you are harvesting from your roof, then make sure the roofing material is inert (like metal, plastic, etc.) so that chemicals do not leech into the water. Plus, give your roof a clean from time-to-time to reduce contamination from bird droppings, farm dusting and autumn sludge.
This post was written by Ella Hendrix who is a freelance writer based in the UK and is currently writing about house renovation, homeware trends and gardening for beginners. In her spare time, she grows potatoes and goes on hikes with her dogs.