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Rainwater Harvesting in NZ. Save money and live a healthier life

November 27th, 2013

The real facts about Rainwater Harvesting in New Zealand

What is Rainwater Harvesting and why is it Important?

Water is our most precious natural resource and something that most of us take for granted. We are now increasingly becoming aware of the importance of water to our survival, its limited supply and the increasing cost of water, when that monthly bill lands in the letterbox.

The harvesting of rainwater simply involves the collection of water from surfaces on which rain falls, and subsequently storing this water for later use.  Normally water is collected from the roofs of buildings and stored in large rainwater tanks, which is very common in rural New Zealand.  Water can also be collected in dams from rain falling on the ground and producing runoff.

Rainwater Harvesting Techniques

The collection of rainwater from the roofs of buildings can easily take place within our cities and towns, not just in rural areas. In particular, this is already occurring in Auckland City in the form of underground detention tanks. The rainwater from the roof of your house and sometimes driveways is diverted and collected in underground tanks.  This water is then is released to the storm water system at a predefined rate, to reduce the load on the storm water system during heavy rain fall events. Rather than release all of the collected rainwater, a larger underground tank can be utilized, with a portion used for detention to meet council requirements and the remaining water harvested for use in your home for toilets, laundry and your washing machine.

What are the Benefits in Rainwater Harvesting?

By capturing water directly, you can reduce your incoming water costs.  It also provides an overall benefit to the City’s infrastructure, by placing less demand on the water supply system, plus the purists amongst us like the fact that the water is natural and does not contain chemicals.

As the land size decreases that new homes are built on, outdoor space becomes more precious, APD’s StormLite Rain Harvesting System is underground, so there are no unsightly tanks taking up space.

What about Dirty Roofs?

There are a number of devices (first flush devices) which allow for the first flow of water to the rainwater storage tank, to be diverted from the tank. By doing this, any dirt on the roofs of buildings that has built up prior to the rain, can be excluded from the tank.

Sizing of Rain Harvesting Tanks

The size of your underground Rain Harvesting Tank is dependent upon two key factors;

  • The detention volume required by council which is based on a calculation of the non-permeable area of your property and rainfall data for the area in which you live.
  • The water storage requirements based on how many outlets and their average usage each day, in combination with typical rainfall to refill the tank, should be taken in account. Outlets such as toilets, laundry, and washing machine and outside tap for garden watering and washing cars, need to be considered.

What parts are required for a Rain Harvesting System?

APD has designed an underground Rain Harvesting System that includes;

  • An underground tank sized to meet your specific requirements
  •  A submersible pump and controller to suit the number of outlets required for your home. The controller is designed to allow mains water to be used in the event that the tank is empty, or there is a power failure preventing the pump from working
  • Internal piping within the tank, to ensure a simple straight forward installation by your drain layer/plumber
  • Be sure to protect the entrances to the tank to avoid pests getting in
  • For more information ring our friendly Sales Team on Ph 09 263 7741

    Download our Rainwater Harvesting PDF here

    To see the product used for Rainwater Harvesting please click here

    rain water harvesting