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As part of K-Plumbing’s Rainwater Harvesting Series

We are currently exploring rainwater harvesting its benefits and how it can be implemented at home. Rainwater harvesting not only helps to reduce your water bill but also ensures you have adequate water supply when water is scarce. This week we will cover indoor use of rainwater harvesting.
When using rainwater for indoor use, water is filtered, treated and then pumped directly to the appliances or to a header tank. Below is a diagram of water usage in a household, broken down per category. Showers, toilets and washing clothes in a washing machine, makes up 66% of a household’s water usage. By switching to rainwater harvesting your water bill can be drastically reduced.

The quality of rainwater is relatively unpolluted and is a soft water source, which means, it is more effective for washing machines and dishwashers as soaps lather better.
However, it is important to note, harvested water cannot be used for domestic consumption without prior treatment, which must comply to industry standards, using the appropriate household water treatment technology. It is necessary to be done responsibly to avoid health risks, contamination of drinking water supply and environmental damage.
A dual-mode rainwater harvesting system, where the water harvested is to be integrated with an existing network system must be regulated. Furthermore, in terms of design and construction, rainwater harvesting infrastructure must be consistent with the National Building Regulations Act of South Africa. It is imperative to be familiar with applicable legislation before installing a rainwater harvesting system.

If water- shedding becomes a reality, should the country run out of the limited water supply it has, there will be a guaranteed uptake of rainwater harvesting.

Sources:
• https://www.greencape.co.za/assets/Uploads/Alternative-water-installation-guidelines-29-Nov-2019.pdf
• http://plumbingafrica.co.za/index.php/your-industry/official-bodies/232-legal-framework-and-institutional-arrangements-for-rainwater-harvesting
• http://www.rainharvest.co.za/2013/08/what-can-renters-do-to-harvest-rain-water-without-breaking-the-law/

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