About 50,000 l (13,200 gal) of potable water could be saved per household per year if potable water were separated from service water. The use of rainwater becomes therefore ever more important in regions with little rain. Storing rainwater or letting it seep into the ground also helps relieve the wastewater system and thus helps prevent flood disasters. Without losing the convenience of hygiene and comfort, rainwater can be used for the following applications:
- Flushing toilets
- General cleaning
- Washing clothes
- Garden irrigation, pond
Every rainwater tank needs a potable water feed, if there is too little rain, and an overflow, if there is too much rain. The overflow of the tank is drained along an existing drainage ditch underground; thus the tank is not connected to the public drainage system.
The rainwater pump installed here integrates the following components: dry-run protection, potable water feed, control panel, level gauge, filter cleaning alert, display of water consumption. The rainwater pumps will only run when rainwater is actually being used. The pumps can be quite noisy when active and should therefore be installed in a suitable accessory room with noise control; here it was installed in the utility room.
These days several manufacturers offer complete rainwater harvesting systems, including all necessary components such as tank, filter, and pump. It is very important that such systems are reliably maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications; for example, the filters must be cleaned regularly.
The payback period of a rainwater harvesting system depends on, among other things, the following individual criteria: manufacturing costs, water consumption, water and wastewater costs. In any event, the use of rainwater not only goes a long way to protect the environment, but also to preserve our precious drinking water reserves.
More information about the new IBN building, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, can be found in the IBN Sustainable Building and Living Magazine Wohnung + Gesundheit www.buildingbiology.com