Changing weather patterns of too much or too little rain has meant that certain areas of the UK suffer from drought while others are experiencing severe flooding. Usually these problems are regarded at as two separate issues. It is however possible to effectively plan for the future when designing your sustainable self-build home. This review considers the Rainwater Harvesting Rain Activ Storm Attenuation Device to address both issues.
Floods and Droughts
There is no simple solution to solving the problem of floods and droughts. It is clear that a number of large-scale projects are needed to help address these issues. However, smaller changes made at household level could make a significant difference and provide an adaptable solution to allow for different climate scenarios. When planning your self-build, it is important to design-in an effective drainage strategy.
Rainwater harvesting is the act of collecting rainwater runoff from roofs and other manmade surfaces. Precipitation that would otherwise be directed into our sewer system can be used for flushing toilets, washing our clothes and watering our gardens, dramatically reducing the stress on the mains supply. A valuable free resource could be used to flush toilets instead of using chemically treated drinking quality water.
Rainwater harvesting captures and filters rainwater that would otherwise have gone down the drain and stores it within an underground tank. When required, it is pumped back into the house, either directly to each appliance, or via a gravity fed system.
Flood Mitigation with Rain Activ
It is possible to combine the benefits of rainwater harvesting with a controlled and measured Sustainable Drainage Solution (SuDS) to prevent flooding. In this case, a percentage of the volume in the harvesting tank is for home use and extra capacity is stored temporarily for excess storm water. The excess is introduced back into the drainage system or attenuated into a soakaway at a significantly reduced and controlled rate to prevent localised flooding. Rainwater Harvesting’s Rain Activ has been tested to discharge as low as 0.05 litres per second per unit. In trial sites, Rain Activ has successfully achieved only a minimal discharge into the drainage system during peak storm events. Systems can be calibrated for both peak flow and 100-year storm plus 40% events. Rain Activ is suitable for self-build projects where other methods of storm attenuation are ineffective.
Underground systems are low maintenance and cost effective to install and should be a considered when designing your self-build home. Retrofitted above ground systems can however be installed as a SuDS solution if required thereafter. This is useful in areas where planning is proposed downstream from the site.
Rain Activ is the invention of Rainwater Harvesting Ltd. They offer professional calibration with Micro Drainage calculations provided to ensure the system is perfectly suited to your site. The kit arrives fully assembled and ready to install. As there are no moving parts, the system is very low maintenance requiring only one filter check per year. It is even self-cleaning! Compared with traditional storm attenuation systems, Rain Activ provides a holistic high-performing, reduced cost solution.
See how the Rain Activ system works below:
Who are Rainwater Harvesting Ltd?
Rainwater Harvesting Ltd. was established in 2008 by a couple who sought a simple and efficient rainwater harvesting solution for their self-build home but found only unnecessarily complicated options available. Their company both designs and manufactures rainwater harvesting systems in the UK for UK homes. The in-house technical design team have developed both direct feed and the award-winning gravity fed Rain Director mains backup systems. The Rain Director is WRAS approved, and therefore accepted by all water providers as being compliant.
It is not possible to predict exactly how rainfall will change over forthcoming years, but there are ways we can plan for any possibility and mitigate risk. Rainwater harvesting is a simple idea which collects rainwater at source and decentralises water management for both storm and drought conditions. It contributes towards ensuring the sustainable use of our future water supplies. Rainwater Harvesting’s Rain Activ system is simple, affordable and manufactured within the UK. It is an excellent low carbon choice for futureproofing your home against flooding, whilst making best use of our natural resources.