Water collector: everything you need to know to be self-sufficient in water at home

More than ever, water is a precious commodity. You may have thought about the solutions available to you to be self-sufficient in water. Whether it’s a simple rainwater recovery to water your plants, vegetable patch and garden or a more technical installation to consume this precious liquid, here’s everything you need to know about this topic.

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Watering Your Garden With Rainwater (But Not Only)

First reflex to reduce water consumption: to recover rainwater that is free. Nothing could be simpler: place one or more water collectors under your gutters. It is best to invest in a large tank (minimum 200 liters) with a tap and a lid.

If your house, garage or garden tool shed is overhanging with trees, equip your gutters with netting to filter the plants. For the rest, make sure your installation is stable, with the risk of losing your water crop if it gets too heavy.

Do you not have gutters but do you have access to the outside, such as a terrace, an inner garden or an exposed balcony? Install a tank and simply open the lid on rainy days.

Besides watering your garden and/or vegetable garden with this water, you can also use it to clean your garden tools, wash your floor or fill your toilet tank and wash your laundry. Be careful though, rainwater cannot be consumed as it is, as the government reminds us: “Rainwater can be collected for domestic use, excluding food consumption”.

Other obligations must be respected, as the government site reminds us:

  • The collected rainwater may only have run off from an inaccessible roof (except for maintenance and maintenance).
  • Water storage must be done in an above-ground or buried tank.
  • No antifreeze should be placed in the tank.
  • If your installation is connected to the collective sanitary network, a declaration of use is mandatory.

To enjoy even more autonomy, you can use rainwater (not drinkable) in the house. But this requires several other obligations to be introduced.

Using rainwater at home (not drinkable)

The installation and conditions are a bit more technical and tedious, but the game is worth it. With taxes and the cost of wastewater treatment, a household’s water bill can add up very quickly. The advantage of reusing rainwater for daily use is all the more useful when you know that for certain tasks it is not necessary to use drinking water.

If you install a rainwater tap (not drinking water) in your home, the government on its website will remind you of a number of measures to follow:

  • The access door(s) must be clearly identified.
  • They must be able to lock and their opening must be equipped with a specific tool.
  • They cannot be installed in a room where there are already taps for the distribution of drinking water (except in cellars, cellars and garages).
  • A signpost with the words “Non-potable water” and an appropriate pictogram must be placed next to each rainwater drainage point and/or toilet that is fed with rainwater.

Of course, you should regularly take care of the maintenance of your installations:

  • Every 6 months: check the cleanliness and conformity of your equipment.
  • Every year : carry out the cleaning of the filters and the emptying, but also the cleaning and disinfection of the storage tanks as well as the valves and the taps through a specialized company.

These interviews must be recorded in a special notebook: they must be dated, mention the name of the company that intervened in your house, if necessary, contain the detailed plan of your equipment, the commissioning sheet and finally the monthly statement indices of stormwater volume rating systems used in buildings connected to the wastewater collection network.

If you rent your living space, all this information must be passed on to your tenant(s).

Rarer yet possible, you can push the concept of autonomy to a final stage: that of making your rainwater drinkable. However, the installation comes at a cost and requires drastic compliance with various standards. There they are.

Photo: Shutterstock

Make rainwater drinkable

When the government reminds us that rainwater cannot be consumed, irreducible people circumvent these recommendations by making this water drinkable themselves. How ? Thanks to a complex water filtration system. Make sure that the reclaimed water has not come into contact with asbestos cement or lead roofing and check the purity of your water regularly.

For more information, we invite you to watch this video from L’ArchiPelle:

We will?

Do you have water on your land and do you want to take advantage of it? You can build a well… provided you follow certain rules. The government site reminds you that it is essential to declare your works at least a month before the start to the town hall and to the operators of underground networks. If your well is more than 10 meters deep, you must also declare your work at least one month in advance to the Regional Service for the Living Environment, Spatial Planning and Housing (Dreal).

Once the work is done, you should report and send an analysis of your well water. A way to ensure that you can only use your water for domestic use.

Interested in this topic? Read on with these three other articles:

  • VIDEO. Thanks to rainwater, this family has not paid a water bill of €1 for 46 years.
  • This intelligent filter converts rainwater into drinking water. (VIDEO)
  • VIDEO. Grenoble: this building converts rainwater into drinking water for its 62 apartments

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