Thursday, June 4, 2009

RECYCLING: From Water Tankers to Water Tanks: Recycle Your Water this Summer‏

Rain Water Drops by Photos8.comImage by via Flickr

by Dominic Donaldson

Most of us never have to worry about water; we just presume that when we turn on the tap, water will wash out without any concern. The only time we tend to take notice of water is when in the summer it doesn't rain for a month or two and the council impose a hose-pipe ban.

One of the best ways to avoid this, especially if you are an avid gardener is to recycle your water. There are many ways to collect and recycle rainwater but here in this article we shall look at the cost-effective and most efficient way.

It is easy to take water completely for granted whilst living in the UK, even in emergencies when water supplies have run short in certain areas or at festivals, large water tankers are sent in with vast amounts of water to be used as a surrogate supply. Water tankers are all very well for huge emergencies but cannot be justified for watering the garden! It is thought that an estimated 3000 litres of water can be saved with a simple water tank by simply recycling rainwater.

Obviously the exact amount of water you can save will entirely depend on the amount of rainwater your area receives but collecting and recycling this water is more than likely to be substantial. The idea is to place your water tank under a roof drain downspout so that when it rains it collects this water that would be running off your house. You can buy water tanks easily from many different places but it is possible to build one yourself if you wish to be even more environmental.

All the materials you'll need to make your own water tank will be available at your local hardware store, the main item you need is a plastic drum. Lots of soft drink manufacturers will be willing to sell you a 200 litre plastic drum which will be ideal. This drum will probably need a hole drilled into the top of it, which some people like to put a screen over to filter what enters the drum. If your roof gutter system already has a filter then you may not need to.

Usually the best way is to put the tank up on blocks so that it is raised from the ground, this helps protect the ground beneath the tank. It also makes it easier to access the water for when you wish to recycle it. You will probably have to move the height of your downspout so that it is slightly above the top of the tank.

Once you have done this you will need to attach a hose to your tank so that you will be able to arrange watering your garden. The simplest way is to drill a hole at the bottom of your drum and glue in an adapter you can attach a hose to. Never again in the summer will your plants have to suffer and you can water them entirely guilt free!

Dominic Donaldson is an expert in the environmental industry. Find out more about Water Tankers at

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