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Recovery of rainwater, the winning bet

While the natural water resources are gradually dwindling underground, the price of drinking water distributed in the cities has been steadily increasing every year, whereas the restrictions on consumption in the summer are more and more frequent because of drought and climate change, a paradox remains. The free water that comes directly from the sky is hardly used. And what a mess! When you think that every year in France, it would be easily possible to recover on average six hundred liters of water per square meter of roof! HandymanDuDimanche invites you this week to discover and think about a solution that is both simple and sensible for all: the recovery of rainwater.


The interest of recovering rainwater.

Recovering and using rainwater may seem primitive enough at first glance, and although you may well turn the problem around, there is plenty to gain. Not only does this help put an end to unnecessary waste but will offer you real freedom of consumption while actively participating in the preservation of the environment and its resources that are too much in demand.

Indeed, many of our daily activities make us spend wrongly treated water to be drinking while nothing requires it. Among these and in the first place, watering plants, garden or vegetable garden, for which the quality of rainwater will always be the ideal reference. Water used to clean the floors, the one to wash the car, etc. But also water used to power your washing machine or your toilet or even the water used to fill a pool.

Recovery of rainwater, the winning bet: recovery

The fact that rainwater is not directly called "drinking" water does not mean that it is of lower quality, quite the contrary, because unlike tap water it does not contain chlorine. In addition, the fact that it is naturally without limestone is a real advantage on many levels and for many of these possible uses. Because limestone, as everyone knows, can be a real plague. For comparison, many people invest in a water softener to be able to benefit from water with the same qualities that is to say a softer water for the skin, who takes care of the plumbing and does not hurry not the life of appliances, which saves money by reducing the amount of soap, laundry and other cleaning products by increasing their efficiency and foaming power.

And yet nothing is impossible, because if you wish and as you will see later, it is very easy to install at home a device to potabilize the rainwater. With much better water than you could get from a well, given the pollution that threatens and is already contaminating many of our water tables and rivers. Finally, do not complain if you live in a region known for its clear and sunny weather, because even in the South the recovery of rainwater is effective. By relying on the runoff caused by the slope of the roof, it will make the most of each downpour.

The different models of rainwater collectors.

Recovery of rainwater, the winning bet: recovery

The ideal is to have a recovery tank buried in the ground. Less than one meter from the surface, this device can make it possible to have large capacities in reserve but above all it ensures a total protection of the collected water in the face of heat, cold and light. Thus, a buried system will prevent the development of bacteria and algae by the absence of direct exposure to the sun's rays. Obviously, this type of installation requires major earthworks for its landfill. It is therefore advisable to take advantage of the presence of digging equipment on your land to equip you with such a system. The best, of course, is to do this during the construction of the house and after choosing a type of underground tank, concrete or polyethylene.

If digging big holes in your garden scares you, rest assured: other solutions exist. It is possible to install water collectors called "above ground" which will be placed either directly outside, in a courtyard or a garden, or inside your house, in the cellar for example. These are polyethylene tanks that have a smaller capacity than their buried counterparts. To counter this small capacity, it is quite possible to pair or connect them in series to multiply the volume of water recovered. Unlike their underground or indoor version, which can operate all year long, outdoor above ground tanks must imperatively be emptied in winter to avoid any risk of frost that would damage your facility forever.

How does a water recuperator work?

Recovery of rainwater, the winning bet: recovery

Whatever the model used, the operating principle remains the same. The rainwater that flows on the roof is channeled and recovered via the network of gutters that are all connected to the recuperator. A first filtration system is placed upstream of the tank or tank to remove foreign bodies and other impurities that contaminate the water in contact with the tiles. Rainwater that has become clear and purified is then stored away from UV (and temperature variations for buried and indoor models) and can already be reused.

By means of a pump, the water is extracted from the recuperator for a use that can be direct, like watering the garden, or connected to the plumbing network of your home. It is then possible to feed just the sanitary water network, containing the WC and washing machine for example, or the entire house through a new series of filtration. For a total supply, it is obligatory to add a process of potabilization of the rainwater, combining a ceramic filter with the power of activated charcoal, and in both cases you will have to have a system of "rocker" for to be able to go to the water of the city when the tank is empty.

Usage tips.

Like many installations in the home, water collectors require regular and conscientious maintenance. Every 4 to 5 years, you must empty the entire tank to clean it completely and remove all the particles that have escaped the different filters. To limit bacterial growth, you may also be advised to install an internal oxygenation system for stored water such as a pump similar to an aquarium. in a little more powerful.

Recovery of rainwater, the winning bet: winning

It may also be wise to equip the birth of your gutters with a crapaudine, this small grid that holds large foreign bodies and especially the leaves will prevent your descents from clogging for a better feeding of the water recuperator. Above all, plan for an evacuation of the tank in case of overflow so that the surplus water can easily be evacuated in the general rainwater network. Finally, to facilitate the maintenance and control of your installation, consider placing the filter and the manometer in easily accessible places.

The recovery of rainwater fits perfectly in the movement of the valuation of what surrounds us because the savings generated are far from derisory and can even, in some cases, reduce your water bill up to 90%. Be aware that our Belgian neighbors have made it mandatory for any new construction. And in France too, it goes: since last February, a tax credit of 40% is granted to any individual who installs at home an outdoor water collector, but this is only valid until 2011; so do not wait too long to decide...


Video Instruction: Augmenting Ground Water Resource Through Artificial Recharge (AGRAR)