In an article in today's Sunday Times, Eithne Shortall highlights another reason why collecting rainwater should be approached professionally.
The suggestion from the water authorities is that we can collect rainwater in water barrels and reduce our water charges by using this for various purposes around the property.
However a two year study has found a 'conclusive link' between water butts and an increase in mosquitoes.
Research conducted at the University of Reading has found that water butts provide a perfect climate for them to breed.
Purchasing water butts that are completely sealed, however, could reduce the chances of mosquito infestations.
This research more than supports our advice to treat the question of how to take advantage of rainwater harvesting in more depth than recent comments from government sources would indicate.
With the new building regulation coming into force on the 1st January 2015
it would be time to take a serious look at how it works and the costs involved.
Firstly it is our contention that the water has to be adequately treated to be of the same quality and standard as laid down in the EU drinking standards. The thought have having a sub standard supply of water inside the house where it could be accessed by children and others is scary.
80% of household water ends up going to waste. As this represents approximately 3600 litres per week for an average family of four, we would suggest that a tank of two weeks supply (7200 litres) would be practical to take advantage of the reduction in water charges.
This would mean an additional cost of approximately €5000.00 on a new build. With an estimated water charge in the region of €1000.00 per year this would make a reasonable ROI.