For approximately two years we have been involved in the design of a filtration unit for a rainwater harvesting system. A protracted series of samples were taken and over the test period we were able to produce acceptable drinking water quality that was verified by and much to the surprise of the Ministry of Agriculture.
In my personal view the commercial development of rainwater collecting systems is long overdue. Our exceptionally dry summer this year caused some concern especially in regard to the depletion of ground water sources and if a global change in weather patterns resulted in a series of below average rainfall then I am sure the concerns will increase exponentially.
Already there is some state of panic in the South East of England where statistics are showing that rainfall is below average, the population in the region is growing and water shortages are anticipated in the near future.
This brings me back to the most obvious and available source of water that can be collected at it's point of use, and does not need miles of pipework, treatment infrastructure or bureaucratic administration.
For example, the meteorological rainfall statistics for Dublin show a pleasant average of three inches of rain each and every month. This would appear to be a natural area to put in place a rainwater collecting programme. The least it could achieve would be to reduce the demand from the current supply system, conserve resources, enable upgrades and improvements to be undertaken and prevent the huge investment needed to bring water from the Shannon.
For the individual there are a number of side issues associated with rainwater harvesting that need to be explored before embarking on a path to collect water, but the use of school buildings and office blocks to collect water for use in toilets, etc, would seem practical with predictable results.
That's my view and if you are considering the advantages or alternatives that can be gained by installing a rainwater harvesting option to your water supply then perhaps you could benefit from the experience we gained in developing the filtration equipment for the tests that flummoxed the boffins at the Ministry of Agriculture.
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