While the summer of 2023 came narrowly close to stealing the crown from 2022 to become the hottest UK summer on record, the Met Office now predicts that the summer of 2024 could be another record-breaker. Given that we have witnessed exceptionally hot summers for several consecutive years, acting now to install a rainwater harvesting system (or extending an existing one) while we’re still getting rain would be a wise move.

Who should consider rainwater harvesting?

The short answer is, almost everyone.

Less rain, drier air and warmer soil will place greater demand on irrigation systems for the agricultural and horticultural sectors and watering systems for livestock and poultry farmers.

Many industries have also adopted rainwater harvesting to reduce their costs and dependence on mains water supply, while on the domestic front, rainwater harvesting can extend from a simple water butt to a filtered rainwater system supplying non-potable water for toilets, baths, showers and washing machines.

What are the rainwater harvesting options?

If you simply require unfiltered rainwater, connecting roof guttering downpipes to a rainwater storage tank will be sufficient; this would be a larger-scale version of a domestic water butt. Manufactured in rotationally moulded plastic, these aboveground tanks offer a storage capacity of up to 20,000 litres.

Upright slimline rainwater tanks are a good choice for locations with limited width – for example, down the side of a house – while flat slimline tanks can be installed where headroom is limited, such as in a roof space.

Underground rainwater storage tanks are another option if space is restricted or the tank needs to be out of sight. These are also rotationally moulded in durable plastic and are manufactured in a selection of sizes suited to domestic, agricultural and industrial use. GRP underground water storage tanks offer greater storage capacity in a stronger, more durable tank; ideal for agricultural and industrial use.

For larger-capacity requirements, sectional steel tanks are available in a range of sizes up to 1,274,000 litres capacity.

HydroStore Garden Harvest from manufacturer Harlequin is a range of complete rainwater harvesting systems that feature electrically powered pumps and self-cleaning, low-maintenance filters. By filtering the water before it enters the tank, these systems guarantee a supply of water that is clean enough for washing cars and watering gardens without clogging spray units.

HydroStore Home Harvest, also from Harlequin, is a similar range of rainwater harvesting systems developed to supplement a domestic mains water supply, providing non-potable water for use in toilets, baths, showers and washing machines. A connection to the mains supply tops up the rainwater tank if supplies run low.

All HydroStore systems can be upgraded to a larger capacity simply by adding further tanks to the system.

If you only require a water butt, there’s no reason why this should be a basic dark green or black plastic barrel. You can make your water butt a beautiful garden feature by choosing one designed as an antique terracotta amphora, oak barrel, oak tree trunk or small slatted timber garden store.

Another reason to act now

The most pressing reason to install rainwater harvesting on your farm, at your nursery, in your factory or at home is to take advantage of the rain while it’s here, but if you’re a farmer you can apply for a grant from the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) to help towards the purchase cost. Click on this link to read more about the grants and the application process.

Where can I get advice on or buy rainwater harvesting systems?

Tanks-UK specialises in storage and dispensing tanks for agricultural, horticultural, construction, industrial and domestic purposes, and offers a wide range of rainwater harvesting tanks, systems and accessories from leading UK and European manufacturers.

For expert advice and a fast, effective solution to your rainwater harvesting requirements, call us on 01953 665940 or email info@tanks-uk.com.

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