5 Ways to Use Rainwater in your Urban Home
Whether you’re interested in saving money on your water bills, reducing your dependence on mains water supply, restricted by drought or want to live a more eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle, rainwater tanks offer an ideal solution!
Rainwater collected in a well-designed, quality tanks can be used for a variety of domestic purposes both inside (laundry and flushing your toilets), and outside (watering your garden, washing your car, filling your pool) your home. No wonder we’re seeing more rainwater tanks in inner-city urban and suburban areas!
Here’s 5 uses for rainwater around your home:
1. Watering your garden
There are so many benefits to using rainwater for watering your garden!
First and foremost, rainwater is “softer” than most tap water – it’s better for your plants! Rainwater tends to have fewer salts and less chlorine, fluoride, calcium and treatment chemicals than municipal water. These salts and chemicals build up in your soil over time and are tough on plants.
The cost of rainwater is almost entirely tied up in the initial setup costs for your rainwater tank, meaning you can use rainwater to water your garden as often as you want, without worrying about how it will affect your water bills. Also, during times of drought and water restrictions, rainwater ensures you can keep watering your garden and not watch it wither away!
2. Washing Your Car
Rainwater is ideal for washing your car! Using rainwater ensures drought and water restrictions don’t affect your ability to keep your vehicles clean, and lets you keep a regular car washing regime without worrying about expensive water bills.
3. Flushing your toilets
Pull the plug out and the water just stays in the sink? Is your shower unintentionally doubling as a bath? Poor drainage can be a sign that your septic can needs a serious overhaul.
4. Doing your laundry
Another excellent use of rainwater is laundry! Because clothes need to be washed regularly, and a lot of mains water is involved in every single cycle, it’s safe to say that washing machines are a big water waster and substantially contribute to your monthly water bill. Substituting mains water for collected rainwater can help this! A family of four can save more than 20,000 litres of drinking water per year using rainwater for their laundry/washing machines.
Also, rainwater is ‘softer’ than mains water, meaning it’s safer for laundry and washes clothes better. ‘Softer water’ means there is less mineral content and chemicals; it reacts better with laundry soaps and doesn’t leave marks on clothes. ‘Harder’ mains water on the other hand has higher dissolved mineral content (manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium) and treatment chemicals in it; it’s harsher on laundry and can discolour clothes.
5. Filling Up Your Swimming Pool
Your swimming pool loses certain amounts of water every day due to evaporation (up to 400mm per month during Australian summer)! Pair this with people swimming, splashing around and the backwashing of your filter and the litres add up quickly. Rainwater tanks are an ideal source of water to top-up or fill your swimming pools. Not only is this water free, but you can feel good about helping the environment and not adding to pressure to water supplies and infrastructure in your local area. Clean, properly filtered rainwater will also keep your pool filled to the brim during times of drought, when water restrictions are enforced.