Ecological and economical, the rainwater collector should be installed in all gardens. Many amateur gardeners have already taken the plunge and are delighted. Thanks to the daily use of rainwater, they limit the waste of drinking water and preserve groundwater. Be careful however, you must not do anything. Here are 8 mistakes that must be avoided at all costs.
1 – Badly place your water collector
This device must be placed near a gutter so that it can be connected to the downspout of the rainwater. Thus, a good part can flow into the tank. This free water will be stored there for later use. It is necessary level the ground first because it is essential to ensure the good stability of the cistern. As far as possible we make the effort to sink a slab because let’s not forget that a single liter of water weighs a kilo. Once full, a 500 liter tank still represents half a ton of water to which the weight of the recuperator should be added.
2 – Buy a rainwater harvester without first assessing its needs
Here is an error that one is likely to regret quickly because by buying a tank in haste, its capacity can be too important or very insufficient. In the first case, the expense is unnecessarily substantial, and in the second case, the tank will not make it possible to achieve the expected savings. It will be necessary to use the network to meet some of its water needs. The tanks on the market have a capacity that varies from 200 to 5,000 liters (some can even contain up to 10,000 litres).
The evaluation must take into account the poles for which one wishes to use the water collector (watering the garden, filling the swimming pool, supplying the evacuation system in the toilets, maintenance of the linen, washing of the floors and tiles or more of the car, use of a high pressure cleaner…). For this investment to be useful, it must provide some autonomy which contributes to the comfort of a home.
Pour choose the right tank volumehave to consider :
- 15 liters per square meter of garden (i.e. for example 3,000 liters if the area of the land is 200 m²), knowing that one must count 1,500 liters of minimum volume for a outdoor rainwater use.
- 1,000 liters per person in the case of a sanitary use.
If you wish to use the rainwater collector in order to be able to enjoy a mixed use, we must therefore logically add the two evaluations (the one for the exterior and the one for the sanitary facilities) but we must obviously take into account the number of people who make up the family. It is also very useful to know, for example, that the water consumption of a high-pressure cleaner is around 300 to 350 L/h and that you need between 180 and 220 L each time the we wash our car.
3 – Neglecting the maintenance of your rainwater collector
« He who wish to travel far take care of his mount. This adage is valid in the case that concerns us here. Regular maintenance helps to extend the life of the recuperator. But it is equally essential for avoid bad odors et maintain good water quality stored. Maintenance of this device consists of:
- Check two to three times a year theinterior of the cistern so as not to allow impurities and mud to accumulate which must of course be removed before there is too much,
- Frequently inspect the filter collector whatever the season and clean it as soon as necessary, because a lot of plant debris and insects accumulate there over time,
- Carry out before extreme cold a emptying the recuperator if it is made of synthetic material because if the water freezes, this could cause damage. We take the opportunity to clean it from top to bottom.
- Clean the gutter because the leaves accumulate there, especially in autumn, but ideally once a quarter.
It is very useful to protect the top of the gutter by a grid placed on the profiled part of the roof as this limits the risk of seeing insects, leaves, resinous needles and even small branches falling into the water collector. A other filter (sand filter type) must be installed between the tank and the gutter if the collector is not already equipped with one.
4 – Use water from an above-ground collector in the toilets
This is strongly discouraged, the water stored in the above-ground tank (or above-ground tank) being mainly intended for use in the garden. For sanitary facilities, it is preferable to invest in a buried water collector or to place the tank in the basement. It can be polypropylene or concrete.
5 – Do not treat the water from the recuperator for the washing machine and the swimming pool
Reservations are expressed by the National Agency for Health, Food, Environment and Work Safety regarding the use of rainwater collected in a tank for laundry maintenance, given that the degree of the sanitary risks has not yet been clearly assessed. However, we know that they are higher near agricultural land or near a nuclear power plant.
When in doubt, it is better to abstain and continue to connect your washing machine to the drinking water network. This is absolutely essential if one presents a predisposition to allergiesthat a member of the household has skin problemsor if the linen is intended for a sick personeven hospitalized.
Note also that if rainwater is used for swimming pool filling – which is possible under certain conditions – they must imperatively undergo prior treatment. The main solutions are chlorine and UV sterilizer. This disinfects and purifies the water. In parallel, it is necessary to install a sand filter for swimming pool.
6 – Replace 100% of its drinking water with water from the recuperator
It is extremely dangerous and in addition it is totally forbidden!
7 – Put antifreeze in the storage tank
Here’s a fun idea! It’s absolutely prohibited by law, whatever the use of the rainwater thus stored. Antifreeze makes it unsuitable for any use even for washing your car or watering the garden because this chemical pollutes the environment by seeping into the ground.
8 – Forgetting to declare your water collector to the authorities
It is mandatory to submit a declaration of use at the town hall of his municipality as soon as the rainwater collector is connected to the collective sewerage network allowing the evacuation of waste water via sewers. This is the case if this rainwater is used in the house. Remember to specify in the free mail addressed to the sanitation service the volume of water used indoors as well as the identification and address of the premises concerned.
A technical agent of the drinking water network is entitled to carry out controls the costs of which are the responsibility of the owner of the collector, who must also take charge of all the necessary measures in the event of network contamination. Failure to comply with the obligations results in the closure of the connection to the public network. In any case, it is strongly recommended to find out about all the legal obligations in force concerning the recovery of rainwater before any installation.