At last a rainwater collector that doesn’t look like a dustbin. Rainwater collection has been in the news some time now. Almost without exception every project featured in BFF over the past couple of years has addressed the need for water conservation/collection/reuse in varying degrees of technology. Taken to its extreme water collection can be quiet costly as an upfront outlay – with an unknown payback period and potential scepticism from the householder.
Everyone knows of simple waterbutt technology so very few are likely to be frightened to make good use of it.
This is an attractive unit, manufactured in the UK from recycled polyethylene in a black textured finish. It holds a maximum of 110 litres (over 20 gallons) of water and can be positioned on any sound wall. More than one can be connected together for increased water storage or one could be positioned beneath every outlet on a building, which could amount to a significant storage capacity.
Water is collected through the downpipe from the roof guttering straight into the top of the collector and overflows via a built-in system ‘hidden’ inside, into the downpipe to the outlet below. All excess water is diverted this way. When the butt is full natural expansion of the reservoir occurs and both the reservoir and fixings have apparently been design to accommodate this. Fixing is very easy and it will fit all standard round or square downpipes. The butt itself sits on a concealed wall bracket ’astride’ the downpipe and is fixed to the wall at the top. All fixings are supplied. All that is needed is a hacksaw to cut through the downpipe, a spirit level, a 12mm bit on a hammer drill and a large pozi screwdriver for fastening. It took me just 30 minutes to fix this little beauty and I must admit that I am very impressed with the simple but effective design. As it is fixed securely to the wall it will not blow away when empty!
It takes up very little space and is very safe for children, the water being securely contained within the tank with only two small access holes at the top. It does not need a separate ‘water saver’ attachment, overflow system or a specially made base. An additional feature are the two disks on top which can be removed and replaced with five inch flower pots planted up for extra decoration.
It comes with a very easy to use, single lever turn action tap which will fit either side of the butt. The tap location is about 25mm from the base to minimise the possibility of stagnant water. The tap will take a standard half inch hosepipe (very easy push-fit). A section of hosepipe can be utilised to water plants in close proximity ((cut length of up to 3 metres – 5 metres gives a very slow trickle) the higher up the wall it is places, the greater the ‘head’ of water pressure. For architects this looks like an ideal product to add to your spec list and for builders it could be a nice little line offering very fast installation, with the potential for a tidy little profit. The added advantage to this little money spinner is that every one completed will give you that “I’ve just saved a bit more of the planet” warm glow!