The use of rainwater harvesting systems by businesses all over the world is on the rise, and it’s easy to say way. Developed countries like the UK and the United States have high water demands and areas with significant levels of rainfall (the South West of the UK and the South East of the USA, for example), allowing companies to benefit both financially and environmentally from their usage.
By allowing the collection, filtration and subsequent use of rainwater, the dependence on expensive mains water supplies can be massively reduced – the British government’s ‘Code For Sustainable Homes’ estimates that, from a domestic perspective, installing a rainwater harvesting system with a large underground tank can cut mains water usage by 50%.
With larger systems installed in larger commercial properties, like office buildings, there’s a similarly large potential waiting to be unlocked – all that’s required is the initial investment harvest potentially tens of thousands of gallons of water each year.
Reduction In Operating Costs
One of the key aspects and features of a rainwater harvesting system is that it’s able to, depending on the levels of rainfall in your area, significantly reduce your dependence on mains water. Setting the environmental benefits aside for one moment, this has huge potential for lower operating costs due to a reduction in your water bills.
In virtually all instances of modern rainwater harvesting systems, these can be run alongside your usual mains water supplies, resulting in a seamless switchover when your harvested supplies run out – in theory, the only difference you should notice is a smaller bill each quarter.
At a domestic level, studies have shown that 55% of treated water could be replaced with rainwater (for example, washing clothes, washing your car, water in central heating), whereas an astonishing 85% of water used by business and in commercial enterprises needn’t be treated to ‘mains standard’ – meaning an enormous potential for rainwater harvesting cutting mains use for businesses.
Significant Reduction Of Flood Risks
By harvesting rainwater for a variety of uses (whether it’s for spray in agriculture, washdown in industrial settings or to be filtered for consumption in a typical office), it greatly reduces the amount of storm water run-off that the ground on and around your site experiences during heavy rainfall.
In essence, installing a rainwater harvesting system is like also installing a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (or SUDS) – as a knock on effect of collecting the rainwater, it’s able to manage storm water and any potentially flooding.
As a result of preventing this water from collection at a ground level, and instead storing it or returning to the sewer or soakaways, the overall flood risk to the site is greatly reduced. This can have a massively positive impact on your site’s safety, virtually eliminating any risk of disruption, costly clean-up or premium boosting insurance claims due to flood damage.
With the usage of rainwater harvesting systems only increasing each year, their increased adoption particularly by commercial and industrial enterprises means that their cost is driven down – creating a self-perpetuating slew of benefits as their usage increases.
The reduction in running costs/outgoings from slashing your business’s dependence on mains water supplies is potentially reason enough to make the investment, but reducing mains water usage also means this resource is preserved for longer.
If rainwater harvesting systems are adopted by businesses, commercial properties, schools (anything with high water demands) on a larger scale, the potential for reducing risks of water shortages and increasing mains water costs is very real indeed. Put simply, modern rainwater harvesting systems will allow us to capture a valuable resource that we simply can’t afford to let go down the drain.
This guest post was written by Tom McShane – professional business blogger and writer for UK industrial firm Liquivault, who specialize in fluid treatment and storage systems including rainwater harvesting solutions.