Rainwater Harvesting

Atlantic Contracting North West Ltd specialise in the installation and service of renewable energy, electrical, plumbing and gas. We are well established and respected within both the private & public sectors, working on domestic and commercial buildings.

Rainwater Harvesting

Atlantic Contracting North West Ltd is encouraging residential and commercial applications of one of the oldest practices in the environmental awareness field, Rainwater Harvesting. Atlantic's interest in rainwater harvesting arose from a desire both to reduce cost of living and help you save money. For example, the last water price review saw the water companies suggesting a 29% increase but Ofwat decided on an average 18% increase for the next 5 years. Currently your water charges cover the costs of supplying water to your home and disposing of it safely when you have finished with it.

The table below gives a guide to the average water use of households not on a water meter and how much yearly or monthly bills could be for the same water use on metered charges. Your bill will vary based on your own personal water use. The prices are average and a guideline only, they based on a household receiving water and wastewater services during 2012/2013. The guides are based on a flat profile of water consumption throughout the year:

Rainwater Harvesting

There are a few reasons that water rates have to rise, to cover cost of renewing water pipes and treatment plants to keep the quality of water at a good level. In the UK, the average water consumption is 173 litres per person per day; yes I couldn't believe it either.

Around the country, prices vary between one water company and another. This is because the types of supply (reservoirs, underground sources, rivers etc), the quality of raw water, and geographical and environmental factors are different for each area. Therefore water and wastewater services have to be priced according to local conditions, the prices can be found on your water provider's website and are measured in m³. Much of the cost of our water services goes to pay for collection and treatment of water to its very high standard for drinking.

Most household customers pay for their water services based on the rateable value of their property. However, more than a third now have meters and are charged according to the amount of water they use.

Typical costs for using water in the home:

Domestic use Water cost Litres used
Shower 9p 35-40
Bath 18p 80
Watering the garden £1.23 540/hour
Flushing toilet 2p 7.5-9.5
Using dishwasher 5p 20
Source: ofwat 2009    

Calculate the average water usage in your home (download PDF if required)

Activity Water Used (Litres) X No Of Times Per Day = Total Water Used
Brushing teeth
(tap switched off)
0.5 x   =  
Brushing teeth
(tap left running)
5 x   =  
Washing hands & face 5 x   =  
Shower 35 x   =  
Bath 80 x   =  
Flushing toilet 7.5 x   =  
Cup of tea/hot
or cold drink
0.3 x   =  
Washing clothes
(washing machine load)
70 x   =  
Dishwasher 20 x   =  
Washing dishes
in the sink
6 x   =  
Other (9Lp/bucket)   x   =  
download PDF

A dripping tap can waste 5,000 litres of water a year.

In England and Wales our drinking water costs around 1p for 10 litres (more than 17 pints). In England and Wales the cost of water supplied and wastewater taken away works out at around 94 pence per day. Rainwater harvesting benefits whole communities and some localities offer surface water/drainage rebates. Rainwater harvesting will definitely help to smooth discharge to the drainage system in normal conditions.

Rainwater harvesting is a way of saving the rainwater which would normally flow off the roof of buildings and down into the grids. This saved water is then filtered and used for watering pot plants/gardens, washing cars, cleaning patios/driveways and can be connected into your toilet and washing machine. Rainwater has no Chlorine, and has virtually zero hardness—eliminating the need for water softeners and extending the life of appliances.

It is surprising how much water can be collected from roof tops. With every inch that falls on a surface of 1000 square feet, it is possible to collect approximately 2270 litres of water. There are as many environmental reasons associated with rainwater harvesting. However one very important reason is to reduce stress on our estuaries, rivers and ground sources. It is also very important to provide the means to become as independent as possible from the utility supplier, at the same time guarantying a supply in spite of possible and likely water outages in the near future.

The most efficient roof surface is a metal roof. This means a corrugated iron, flat iron sheet, or IBR profile. You cannot harvest rainwater with a thatched roof. Tiled roofs are not as efficient as metal for collecting rainwater. Here are the average calculations 11 mm of rainfall for metal roofs produce 1000 litres of harvested rainwater for every 100 sq. metres of roof area and 16 mm of rainfall for tiled roofs produce 1000 litres of harvested rainwater for every 100 sq. metres of roof area Whatever your roof, we are able to determine precisely how much storage of rainwater you can collect.

Hosepipe bans are the gardener's nightmare and new proposals would give water companies the right to prohibit use of hosepipes during a water shortage for other outdoor cleaning purposes such as washing boats, patios, drives and windows; cleaning stables, outbuildings and greenhouses; and also for filling swimming pools, ornamental ponds and hot tubs. With unexpected dry spells followed by weeks of rain it is very hard to judge supply - so a personal water supply can help get you through the highs and lows even if the water companies can't. Environmental protection is vital and saving water is high on the list.

If you are thinking about taking steps to install a water harvesting system to cater for all your non-potable needs then please contact us at Atlantic Contracting North West Ltd as your system installer, we'll be happy to help.