Water is part of a never-ending cycle between the seas, clouds, rain, hail, snow and the system of streams and rivers .
Saving fresh water makes sense from both an economic and an environmental viewpoint. Water may seem to flow endlessly from our taps, but its delivery and purification requires more and more energy and has a considerable environmental impact. It is a finite resource. In The UK, the availability of new fresh water is very limited.
Drinking water is our most important food. The average household uses around 150 litres of water a day, but as little as 3% of it is needed for preparation of food and drinks.
For many uses in homes and offices, we just do not need high quality drinking water. You can safely use properly filtered rainwater for toilet flushing, washing machines, cleaning and garden watering. With the help of the right rainwater equipment properly installed, there is usually no need for treatment of the water pumped from the tank. Post-tank treatment is usually much more expensive over the long term.
This means that half of the drinking water used can be saved without any reduction in hygiene and comfort.
Other benefits of using rainwater:
- More efficient washing, saving up to 50% on washing powder.
- Washing machines do not get problems with lime scale.
- No lime scale or salt built up in toilets.
- Better water for your garden and plant irrigation.
With correct design and implementation of specific components, you can be sure of years of trouble free operation. Rainwater harvesting systems provide high quality rainwater which is ideal and safe for their intended uses.
Only the water from roof areas should arrive in the cistern. Smooth surfaces are suited best (schist, glazed concrete roofing file). The collection of water from green roofs is between 30 and 50%. It can be slightly brownish sometimes, but can still be used for toilet flushing and garden irrigation.
The first cleaning step in the rainwater system is the filter. The rainwater flows from the roof to the filter. Here dirt particles and debris are separated from the water. The cleaned water flows to the tank. The dirt is washed to the storm water pipe or soak away with a small amount of rainwater. All 3P rainwater filters have stainless steel inserts, which are easy to remove and easy to clean. They can be used in many different installations, due to diversity in design and operating processes. (beware systems without self cleaning filters..they are expensive to run in the long term).
The water is stored in dark and cool conditions by using an underground tank. The second step of the cleaning process takes place here. In the water column, any dense residual particles settle to the bottom of the tank. The rainwater Calmed Inlet prevents any disturbance of this sedimentation layer. At the same time the Calmed Inlet ensures that oxygenated water is introduced to the lower layers of the tank. This oxygen rich water prevents anaerobic reducing conditions forming in the storage tank and ensures that the water stays fresh.
Particles that are less dense than water will float. The expertly designed Overflow Siphon has a skimmer effect which removes this floating layer. The particles lighter than water are typically pollens and some airborn particles. The regular overflow from the storage tank is vital important to get the optimum long term water quality. It prevents souring of the water. The floating layer could otherwise build up over time, and so reduce oxygen diffusion at the water surface, which in turn could lead to anaerobic reducing conditions in the tank.
The 3P Pump Intake floats at all times, suspended just below the water surface where the cleanest water lies. From this position the water is abstracted by the pump. A ball float, filled with air, suspends the intake, which has a further filter and a check valve.