Every industry has been affected by the move towards more green and more sustainable practices; plumbing is no different. Many homeowners are looking for ways to make their plumbing more efficient and eco-friendly. The greening of plumbing has the added benefit of saving you money. You’re charged for every gallon of municipal water that flows through your pipes. So, reducing the amount of municipal water through your pipes will reduce your plumbing bill each money. High-efficiency toilets and showers is one way to reduce water consumption. Using rainwater is a way to reduce the municipal water you use.
Using Rainwater With Your Plumbing
You’ll need to talk to a professional about using rainwater. Rainwater is not potable in its natural state, so it can’t be used in all of your plumbing. You’ll need essentially a separate plumbing system to keep the rainwater sequestered from your drinking water. However, it’s perfectly fine for every application that you won’t drink purposely or accidentally; basically, it can be used for anything that won’t touch your face or your food.
The first step to using rainwater with your indoor plumbing is to collect the rainwater. A dedicated rain barrel is a good choice since they’re designed to catch as much water as possible while also keeping out bugs and other pests. The rainwater cistern can be connected directly to your pipes as well. The pipes will then run to your toilets, your washing machine, and your garden hoses. You’ll likely need to have a pump installed to drive the water to those applications.
You’ll also need a filter. Water used for washing your clothes does not need to be drinking water quality but it does need to be clean. A professional plumber can install all of these things for you to get you up and running.
How Much Money?
Many homeowners want to know how much money they’ll save. That depends obviously on your personal use but a washing machine alone uses about 50 liters of water every time you use it. That’s about 13 gallons. Depending on how large your washing loads are, you could save a few dollars every time you run your washing machine.
You can also water your plants or fill a fish pond with your collected rainwater. A pond that is about ten feet by ten feet can hold as much as 3,000 gallons of water. Using rainwater for that can save you hundreds of dollars each year.