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Many people have been seeking different ways to cut the amount of water they are using. They are trying to limit their carbon footprint as well. Using rainwater is one way that you can accomplish that. Rainwater will cut down on your carbon footprint because it is not processed. Water that comes from a municipal treatment facility is pumped, filtered, and treated. That is going to require some amount of energy. Rainwater, however, requires no energy to collect. If you want to utilize it for your garden, you could just buy a collection barrel with a spigot. To water your lawn with it, you would need a gravity pump or an electric pump. A gravity pump relies on the pressure of the water to force water through the hose. Obviously, that pressure decreases as the barrel gets  closer to empty. An electric pump allows you to use all of the water in the barrel but will consume some energy.

If you want to incorporate rainwater more fully, you’ll need to hire a professional plumber.

 

Integrating Rainwater

 Rainwater can be integrated into your plumbing in two different ways. If you want to drink the water, wash dishes with it, and shower with it, you’ll need to treat it. Essentially, you’ll treat your rain collection the same way you would treat a well. A pump will be installed in the bottom of the rain barrel with a pipe leading into your home. In your home, the water will run through a filtration system. Depending on your particular area, there are different types of filtration systems you can use. The most comprehensive system is a three-step system. Water is filtered through sand or similar material to remove large solids. Then the water is filtered through activated charcoal to remove microscopic impurities. Finally, the water is treated with either purifying chemicals or with UV light to kill viruses and bacteria.

All of that is necessary to make rainwater potable. To use in your shower or sink, the water needs to be potable. However, that also means that the water will consume some resources. If you want to use as little energy as possible, you can still incorporate rainwater but not as drinking water.

For those uses, you would simply install a secondary plumbing system connected to your rainwater collection barrel. These secondary pipes can be connected to your washing machine, garden hose, mop sink, and any other use that won’t be ingested.

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