Installer Directory


Janet Richardson


Updated on

Mar 16, 2024

Read Time : 4 Minutes

Rainwater Harvesting in the UK

Rainwater harvesting, recycling & storage information.

The scarcity of one of our most valuable and important resources, water, is beginning to cause concern, not only in the UK but across the world. It’s estimated that by 2030 demand will outpace supply by nearly 40% which means we all need to do our bit to conserve the amount we use.

If we are to have a sustainable future, then rainwater harvesting is going to have to become an important part of our lives. Our reservoirs do it on a grand scale, collecting rainwater which is then pumped and purified before reaching our homes and providing us with valuable drinking water. But rainwater can also be collected locally using catchment devices and storage tanks.

Although it will not yet provide us with suitable drinking and cooking water, rainwater harvesting can provide an important source for other uses such as washing clothes and flushing the toilet, something that could save most of us up to 40% on our mains usage.

The History of Rainwater Harvesting

We have been trying to make use of the water that falls out of our skies for thousands of years, channelling it to provide irrigation and to provide drinking water for remote communities in drier climates. The history of rainwater harvesting is a story of rich innovations from the Talibs of India through to the more complex systems we are now beginning to find in our overcrowded cities. Find out more about the history of rainwater harvesting.


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How Rainwater Harvesting Works

The process is fairly simple – rain falls onto your roof and is collected by the guttering, channelled down into a storage tank which then feeds into your home where it can be used to flush toilets and fill your washing machine. We are all beginning to utilise some form of rainwater harvesting whether it’s the simple act of installing a water butt in the garden or going for something more advanced that helps cut down our water bills. There may well be a day when we all have our local water collection system that ensures we have plenty for our needs in the future. Discover how rainwater harvesting works.

Types of Rainwater Harvesting System

There are a range of rainwater harvesting systems on the market from those that you can install yourself to ones that fit underground and provide water for specific purposes, saving you money on your water bills. You can have tanks that work with a pump at ground level and those that use the force of gravity which are normally placed in the loft or on the roof.

As we become more aware of our need to conserve this vital resource, the popularity of rainwater harvesting will continue to grow and new innovations will help us do it more efficiently. Explore the different types of rainwater harvesting system.

The Uses of Rainwater Harvesting

Water harvested from rainfall is not suitable for drinking or cooking because it hasn’t been processed in the same way as our mains supply has. It can however be used for a variety of purposes such as flushing toilets, in washing machines and watering the garden. The main use of rainwater harvesting, though, is the conservation of our mains supply as demand begins to rise. Find out more about the uses of rainwater harvesting.

The Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting

Apart from conserving our mains supply, rainwater harvesting systems can have a wide range of ecological and financial benefits particularly for commercial premises where usage for flushing toilets and other potable needs is much greater. If you have a water meter then you can reduce the cost of your bills by as much as 40% by having a good rainwater harvesting system installed. Discover the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

Is My Site Suitable for a Rainwater Harvesting System?

Deciding whether your home or commercial premises is suitable for a rainwater harvesting system depends on a number of factors including how much space you have for the storage tank, what you use the water for, and the catchment area that you have available for making the most of your local rainfall. Find out if your home is suitable for rainwater harvesting.

Cost of Installing a Rainwater Harvesting System

Rainwater harvesting systems are unusual compared to other green technologies in that there are a variety of solutions to meet everyone’s pocket. A simple water butt that can be used to keep your garden will cost around £70 to £80 whilst a more complex rainwater harvesting system that feeds your home could set you back between £2-3,000.

Commercial water systems can stretch into the tens of thousands but provide a fairly quick return on investment. Discover the cost of installing a rainwater harvesting system.

Rainwater Harvesting Tanks and Equipment

There are various parts that go into making up a rainwater harvesting system, from the storage tank, the conduits that carry the water to your home, the collection system and the various filters. The technology is the same for both commercial and domestic uses, the difference is in the complexity of the delivery system and pipe network. Explore the different parts of a rainwater harvesting system.

Rainwater Harvesting Kits

You can purchase all in one kits for rainwater harvesting and there a number of reputable suppliers who can provide you with all you need to get started. These include the tank, filters and pump system which can easily be installed if you have some plumbing experience. At the Renewable Hub we always like to urge you to do the right research so that you end up with the product you both want and need. Find out what to look for in rainwater harvesting kits.

Rainwater Harvesting and the Effect on your Property Price

For domestic properties, rainwater harvesting is still in its early stages here in the UK so there is not much concrete evidence for the impact on property prices. A good RHS is, however, very low maintenance and reduces the amount of a water metered bill by up to 40%, which would suggest that it would only have a positive impact on your property price. Discover the issues for rainwater harvesting and property prices.

Large Scale Rainwater Harvesting

Where rainwater harvesting can make a big ecological and financial difference is on a larger, industrial scale and government initiatives have been introduced to encourage the incorporation of water collection technology into new commercial builds. With savings of up to 40% on mains water bills, many large industrial size properties are beginning to see the benefits and quick return on investment of installing their own rainwater harvesting system. Discover the world of large scale rainwater harvesting.

Rainwater Harvesting Maintenance and Warranties

The maintenance needs for a rainwater harvesting system are moderately low. The tank should last for a lifetime with the polyethylene models now available and the pumps are generally robust and self-contained. Different parts of the system such as the tank and pump will also have their separate warranties attached. Find out more about rainwater maintenance and warranties.

Are Rainwater Harvesting Systems Worth It?

Whether your rainwater harvesting system is worth the investment depends on what you are trying to achieve. For domestic systems, the financial return on investment could take up to 15 years depending on your usage. ROI works more profitably for larger collecting systems such as those you find in commercial or industrial environments, often providing a return within a couple of years.

The other issue to consider is the collective impact rainwater harvesting has on the environment, reducing our reliance on the mains system which is under pressure from high demand and an increasinly limited supply. Find out if a rainwater harvesting system is worth it.

Manufacturers of Rainwater Harvesting Systems

There are wide range of design, manufacturing and delivery companies both in the UK and worldwide who are busy innovating in the arena of rainwater harvesting. From suppliers of RHS kits to large scale, industrial systems, you can find a list of some of the major manufacturers here.

Installers of Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Finding the right installer is almost as important as finding the right rainwater harvesting system. You can now search our dedicated installer database to find the right company for your needs in your area.

Rainwater harvesting underground tank

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