homeowners. Rainwater is softer and kinder to washing machines and clothes than mains water. This in turn will allow a reduction in limescale damage, meaning the washing machine will have a longer life – another added bonus. Another benefit of the water being less harsh on clothing is that it reduces the need for fabric softener, which again means money saving for homeowners and even, in the long-term, less lorry miles for detergent producers – another reduced environmental impact. Although these may seem like small or somewhat insignificant details, savings will add up over time.

HARVESTING PLANNING BENEFITS When obtaining planning permission for developments and self-builds, the inclusion of eco-friendly elements can help influence planning officers at local councils. Rainwater harvesting systems are often viewed favourably when decision makers are considering the effect of a new property, as they reduce the impact on local resources.


For most people, installing a rainwater harvesting system will completely

transform the way they use water without them noticing any difference from using mains water.

In an environment where consumers are worried about escalating utility bills as the cost of living increases, rainwater harvesting offers an effective solution. The investment in a system also future proofs the property against further increased expenditure – if utility costs continue to rise, homeowners need not worry as they have their own sustainable resource.

The collected rainwater itself also offers financial advantages to

For those choosing to self-build,

installing a rainwater harvesting system can prove an integral part of constructing a low cost and sustainable property. In times of water shortages and drought it is important that everybody plays their role in conserving water as our water supply can no longer be taken for granted. There are proven products on the market that are proven sustainable solutions and should be considered in all self-build projects.

Lisa Farnsworth is managing director at Stormsaver

New Kingspan Shallow-Dig Rainwater Harvesting System

Kingspan has launched a new premium ‘shallow dig’ domestic rainwater system, which joins the company’s well-established portfolio of rainwater-recycling solutions. The Gamma Rainwater range is a low- cost installation for self-build projects and residential developments. Its profile requires a shallower dig and less excavation than traditional rainwater harvesting systems as well as less backfill to secure it in place. It’s also ideally suited to rocky strata conditions where deep digs are not possible. Gamma is designed as a ‘fit-and-forget’ system, providing homeowners with a seamless, automatic supply of harvested rainwater. It works by channelling rain from roof gutters, filtering out leaves and debris and then storing the water in an underground tank. This water is then conveyed to appliances (WCs, washing machines, outdoor taps etc) either direct, via a header tank, or is pumped direct from the main storage tank where a tank is impractical. Systems which supply WCs or washing machines are automatically backed up with mains water at no inconvenience to the householder. Dave Vincent, Commercial Director for Kingspan Water Management (GB and Ireland) advises: “A rainwater harvesting system can halve the amount of water used by a homeowner and rainwater harvesting systems will remain a constant feature of any development, ensuring targets for water management continue to be met for years to come.” 44 september/october 2017

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