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Is Rainwater Harvesting Illegal?

Posted by Callum Vallance-Poole

Rainwater harvesting system in action in a garden, an underground tank collecting water to be used to water the grass.

Living in the UK, we are blessed with plenty of rainfall every year, with an average of 800mm to 1,400mm. This presents an opportunity to collect and use rainwater for various purposes, including gardening, car washing, and toilet flushing. By doing so, you can reduce your reliance on the public water supply and lower your water bill.

Is it legal to harvest rainwater in the UK?

Yes, it is. In fact, builders of new houses who install rainwater collection facilities may be more likely to get planning permission than those who don’t. However, it’s always best to check with your local planning department before installation to be sure.

Are there regulations about the installation of a rainwater harvesting system.

These regulations are part of building regulations and water supply (water fittings) regulations 1999. They require that all non-potable water be in separate pipework and clearly labeled to prevent contamination of drinking water. Pipes must be separated by means of an air gap to prevent the risk of non-potable water causing E-Coli.

How much can you save if you collect rainwater?

By using rainwater for your toilet flushing, washing machine, gardening, and car washing, you could save up to 50% on your water bill, which means a reduction of around £24.50 a month for an average four-person household. This saving is impressive, and it’s not the only benefit of having a rainwater harvesting system.

In addition to saving money, you are also reducing your carbon footprint by taking less water from rivers and reservoirs. Collecting water also reduces the risk of run-off water causing floods in heavy rain.

But how do you know what size tank to buy?

GRAF UK Shop can help you with that. They have a questionnaire on their website that asks about the size of your roof, the average rainfall in your area, and how you intend to use your rainwater. Based on your responses, GRAF UK Shop can recommend the best tank for your needs.

Is the installation complicated?

No, it isn’t. A professional installation team can complete the work in about a day. You can have a tank installed in your garden, loft, or above ground outside, depending on your preference. For instance, an underground tank might be best if you want to save space and reduce the risk of algae growth because there is no light. However, note that an underground system isn’t as easy to access for maintenance or repair, and the installation will cost more because of the need to excavate the land to fit the tank and remove spoil from the site.

Ultimately, by installing a rainwater harvesting system, you can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and be more environmentally conscious while enjoying various activities at home. At GRAF UK Shop, we are passionate about rainwater harvesting and can’t wait to help you reap the benefits of this sustainable practice.