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Well water and rainwater: Why and how to utilize it?

Droughts and water shortages are an increasingly common topic. Water, however, can be saved in various ways. Family houses, cottages and chalets should all naturally use alternative water sources nowadays, such as well water and rainwater. Why is it important to rely on such water and how to utilize it?

State of water in the nature is alarming

Droughts are becoming increasingly devastating in many places, and experts warn that this situation will worsen. Precipitation decreases, and thus the amount of surface and groundwater decreases too. Municipalities must often regulate consumption in the summer months, and price of water and sewerage is constantly increasing. People have no choice but to learn to better manage water their consumption.

Nevertheless, the reality is often completely different. In many parts of Europe, it is common to irrigate gardens or fill swimming pools with drinking water, not to mention flushing or washing. At the same time, mosts of houses could get water directly from their garden - by means of a well or borehole and by collecting rainwater. These ways of pumping water are ecological, and in addition, this water is completely free. How to do it and what savings will these solutions bring?

Well and rainwater: advantages and disadvantages

In the past, shallow dug wells were common source of drinking water. Today, however, the demand on water quality is higher, and at the same time the quality is declining due to adverse climate change. But if you already have a well, it is a very suitable source of domestic water. However, the construction of a new dug well would be inefficient at relatively high cost and low source reliability.

In recent years, rainwater collection has also become very popular. Torrential rains cannot be effectively absorbed by the soil, but the entire volume of water flows down the roof into the sump. In addition, rainwater harvesting system is relatively cheap and you may be eligible for subsidies in many areas.

Rainwater is ideal for watering your garden

How to use rainwater

Rainwater is most often used to water gardens. Which is ideal because rainwater is chemical-free and healthier for plants than tap water, which is full of chlorine and other chemicals. You do not need to treat the water in any way. In addition, watering is completely free, so you can save a lot of money.

Another suitable use of rainwater is not just toilet flushing, but also cleaning and personal hygiene. However, if you use rainwater for washing yourself, you will need a so-called gray water purification system. A mechanical dirt filter is enough for flushing.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater is usually collected in barrels from durable plastic, which are fitted with a tap or pump, most often a combination of both. Tanks can be underground or above ground, or in the cellar. For a 120 mroof, tank capacity of 5 cubic meters is sufficient.

You can draw collected water from the tank with a tap or a pump. However, the faucet does not have enough pressure, so you can only fill a container, such as a bucket. You will need a pump for hoses or water supply to the tap.

Depending on the location of the barrel, you can use a submersible or self-priming pump. Remember that the rainwater must be thoroughly filtered before entering the tank to prevent dirt from accumulating in the storage tank and then damaging the pump.

In case of lack of rainfall, water in the tank may be replenished from a borehole, well or tap. At the same time, it is necessary to monitor the water level in the barrel to protect your pump from dry running. The most suitable is a submersible pump with an integrated control unit, which works automatically. A suitable accessory for pumping rainwater is a suction basket with a float, which ensures that the water is pumped from the surface and not from the bottom of the rainwater tank, where dirt is deposited. Automatic devices designed to utilize rainwater are also available on the market. These systems contain everything needed to pump rainwater from the barrel and automatically switch to a secondary source in the event of a lack of rainwater.

Wilo rainwater harvesting equipment.

How to pump well water

For pumping quality drinking water focus on drilled wells. Sure, if you want to use well water only for watering or flushing, a shallower dug well will suffice. But keep in mind this is not a long-term solution, as the state of groundwater has been unsatisfactory for a long time and shallow wells are drying out. New excavated wells are therefore only dug sporadically today.

However, if you already have a dug well in your garden and the water analysis has shown an unsatisfactory quality for drinking, you can use it as a source of domestic water, thanks to which you will save significantly. Like rainwater, lower quality well water can be used for watering, flushing toilets or washing, but also for filling swimming pools, and you do not need to treat well water for these purposes.

You can pump well water easily with a submersible pump. The pump must have head corresponding to the depth of the well and the length of the water supply system to which the water will possibly be supplied. Select the pump power according to the expected consumption. Thermal and dry-running protection should be an integral part of the well pump.

 Grundfos submersible well pump.