Alternative Technology at Home in Suffolk
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I have now perfected a method of using rainwater to flush two toilets in the house.
I had been inspired by the, now outdated, details at the Ecocentre which described a method of using rainwater for flushing the toilet. Unfortunately this project got off to a bad start. I got a system working which pumped our well water up into an additional holding tank in the loft, which in turn supplied two toilets in the house with well water. Unfortunately although the well water is fine for watering the garden, the amount of sediment caused a high level of domestic disapproval as the toilet flushing water was a distinctly wee-like colour! When compared to the clinical whiteness of our new bathroom suite, a fast return to mains water was insisted on.
A water filter was installed in the system, but this lasted only one week before the water was again unacceptable. Below are the details of my latest improved rainwater harvesting system.
The rainwater harvesting project has moved a stage further on as I have acquired a 1000 litre IBC tank and a 12 volt pump, shown above. The tank came from eBay at £30 and the pump, brand new, at a bit more. Check eBay auctions for a suitable water tank. You can find a suitable pressure pump too. Look for one with around 30 psi capability if you need to pump to an upstairs or loft tank.
The tank was supplied bare on a wooden pallet, so I have boxed it in with weatherboard, built to look like a little shed. The inlet filter was a Drainsmart, which removed the worst of the leaves and sediment before they entered the tank. There is a high level float switch in the loft tank controlling a relay to operate the pump when water is required, but another low level float switch to stop it if the garden tank is low.
The Drainsmart filter worked quite well, but needed cleaning manually after each rain shower. So I have replaced it with a 3P Technik Filter Collector which is fantastic as it is self-cleaning and requires only occasional inspection by means of an easy access port at the side. This unit is much cheaper than the German Wisy rainwater filter. Read more information on the 3P Rainwater Filter Collector. Here is a large pdf of the 3P Filter Collector.