Save on the costs of municipal water by installing a tank to collect rainwater for general household use.

Most of the household water we consume is used to water plants, flush toilets, wash cars and so on rather dirty tasks like these don’t need expensive municipal water. We only really need drinkable water for cooking and drinking. For all the rest – the garden, swimming pool, washing the car and the dog rainwater is perfect. Around 80 percent of household water needs can be met using rainwater.

Tip: Get off the grid. Collect and recycle water. Rainwater collection tanks and grey water recycling systems help you harness the potential of your home to provide its own water, and cut unnecessary waste.

How to install a rainwater tank

All it takes is a few minor modifications to the downpipe of the gutter, and the addition of a collection tank. You can buy slimline tanks with attractive finishes to suit domestic homes.

A full tank often generates enough pressure on its own for a hose. If not, JoJo has recently introduced a submersible pump, that can add enough oomph to distribute the water, or the tank can be raised on specially designed stands. Sophisticated systems can be created, with pumps and filters added that can be plumbed into the house to fill cisterns and supply certain taps.

Calculate how much water your house will harvest.

To get a sense of just how much rainwater your roof can harvest, consider that one square metre of roof space collects one litre of water for every millimetre of rain. To give you a more concrete idea, depending on the type of roof you have (metal roofs are most efficient) a roof of 100m2 can collect 1 000 litres from 10mm of rain. A three-bedroom house usually has about 150m2 of roof; a four-bedroom house 200m2. A 100m2 roof can capture 60 000 litres of rainwater a year.

What size tank do I need?

It’s not always necessary to buy a large tank if you need to store a lot of water. A JoJo Slimline tank holds 750 litres. You can connect them in series quite simple using pipes so that overflow from the first fills the second and so on.

Can I drink rainwater?

Most rainwater tanks are lined with food safety accredited material. You shouldn’t drink rainwater from the roof except in emergencies. And then ideally boil it for at least a minute first.

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