How to reduce your costs with rainwater harvesting? - Cotterill Civils

How to reduce your costs with rainwater harvesting?

With farmers facing rapidly increasing bills and rising inflation, it’s no wonder they are looking for as many ways possible to reduce their costs. Rainwater harvesting is an effective and eco-friendly method of reducing water usage, leading to significantly reduced water bills. 

What is rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater with the purpose of putting it to good use. Rainwater harvesting is one of the simplest and oldest methods of self-supply of water for households, businesses and farms.

Installations can be designed for different scales including households, neighbourhoods and communities, as well as farms and businesses. It can also be designed to serve institutions such as schools, hospitals and other public facilities

Harvested rainwater is used for flushing toilets, laundry, for washing the car and watering the garden. In the case of farmers, it is used for general water supply, dairy and yard wash-down facilities, toilets, poultry and livestock drinking supplies*, firefighting reservoir water storage system etc.

It is NOT used for drinking or cooking, washing dishes and bathing or personal hygiene

The harvesting process

  1. Rainwater falls onto the roof of a property or farm building.
  2. Rainwater is then channeled through the guttering and downpipes into an underground or above ground rainwater tank, via a filter. 
  3. The filter is positioned either in the top of the rainwater tank, or prior to the tank, and the rainwater passes through it before being stored in the tank. The filter cleans the rainwater on its way into the tank and it prevents any leaves or debris from getting into the tank.
  4. The clean rainwater is then stored in the rainwater tank ready to be used.
  5. This rainwater is then pumped from the tank to its point of use. Either an outside tap for garden irrigation or car washing, or to a WC for flushing, or to a washing machine. 

Why do it?

  • Rising costs - Water bills are rising due to a range of factors, including infrastructure costs, unpredictable weather and increased water consumption, and are expected to rise further in future years. In 2022, bills will rise by an average of 1.7% in England and Wales from April 2022, according to the industry body Water UK. In some parts of England, bills could rise by up to 10% this year, while others may experience a modest decrease.
  • Impact of weather - Drought and climate change are other factors that need to be considered, especially in the agricultural sector. During periods of limited water supply having a rainwater tank will allow you to water crops or have water for your properties.
  • Becoming greener - Many homes and businesses are looking to become greener, more efficient and more self reliant - and they see rainwater harvesting as a worthwhile investment. Rainwater Harvesting is one of the quickest and easiest ways for you to reduce your water consumption and become more efficient. By harvesting rainwater, you can cover up to 50% of a family’s typical household water usage – this leads to savings on bills whilst also helping the environment.

What are the benefits?

  • Reduce water consumption - Harvested rainwater will collect and automatically be used for various systems, such as toilet flushing, outside taps etc. This results in less water usage and cheaper bills and a greener home or commercial premises.
  • Quick and easy to install and start collecting - These systems are relatively easy to install as they come in one package and you’ll be up and running in no time.
  • Tailored to your specific requirements - Harvesting systems are available in a range of sizes and options. This means our system will be specifically tailored for your needs, ensuring you have the right system at the right cost.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff - The collection of water from impermeable surfaces through rainwater harvesting can reduce the volume of runoff and peak flows and so have a positive impact on surface water flooding. This also limits the environmental damage caused by stormwater runoff. By collecting the vast majority of the water that lands on your roof, rain harvesting keeps this water out of stormwater and ultimately out of our waterways.
  • Emergency situations - While rainwater can be a perfect primary water source for many uses and situations, it is also a great backup water supply for emergency situations.

Rainwater harvesting in agriculture

Large roof areas, a high water demand, and grants available for farmers and growers mean reusing rainwater for agricultural purposes makes sense and is potentially very cost saving. 

Being naturally soft and clean, filtered rainwater is better for many crops and is often preferred by livestock over chlorinated mains water. 

Systems can be as simple as an above ground tank collecting water off a roof area to supply gravity-fed troughs or crops, to a professional rainwater harvesting system with a large underground tank and pumps to distribute the collected water to where it is needed around the farm. 

Please note special filters are needed when rainwater harvesting is used for livestock drinking.

What support is available?

There's always new schemes running to support those who want to implement rainwater harvesting. Currently the Country Stewardship Scheme is running with a deadline of 16th May. 

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme run by the government provides financial incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and land managers to look after and improve the environment. 

The ‘RP17: Storage Tanks Underground’ section of the scheme provides help with underground water storage tanks, with £350 per cubic metre that can be claimed for the installation of underground rainwater storage tanks and pumps. 

Whilst, the ‘RP18: Above ground tanks’ section of the scheme provides help with tanks which store water above ground, £100 per cubic metre can be claimed for the installation of above ground rainwater storage tanks.

There are also other sections which cover rainwater harvesting that may suit you and your business, which you can find here

The deadline for submitting your annual revenue claim without penalty is midnight on 16 May 2022. You can continue to submit claims after 16 May until midnight on 10 June but with penalties.

How can we help?

We provide cost competitive rainwater harvesting tanks up to a massive 2,000,000 litres capacity, so whatever your application we’ve got you covered! We can also supply all the UV filters and pumps to make your system complete.

If you speak to one of our experts they’ll be able to come up with a solution that works for you, give us a call on 0121 351 3230

Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form: