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Water is the most precious commodity we have on this planet and there’s plenty of it. Sadly, less than 2% of what we have is fresh water.

We need it for the basic necessities of everyday life – we drink it, we need it to maintain good hygiene, it’s required for the manufacture of most of our food and for pretty much every key product in our everyday lives. There is no alternative

Here in the UK, as a result of global warming, we are seeing changes to rainfall patterns. We’re getting our rainfall less often, but in longer heavier bursts than before and as a result we have seen huge quantities of rainfall causing flooding as the rainwater infrastructure has been unable to cope with it, before those vast quantities of valuable water eventually disappears as run off, into rivers and out to sea.

Polypipe Building Products has launched a range of new solutions into the rainwater harvesting marketplace, targeted specifically at the domestic and residential market, in response to the growing acceptance that the time has come to stop using high quality drinking water to flush down the toilet, wash our cars and water the garden.

With forecasts suggesting that the south coast could be experiencing a Mediterranean climate by 2050 – some suggesting this could arrive much earlier – water could become a very expensive commodity and any help available from naturally occurring sources of water should be met with open arms. The UK’s position as an island, with prevailing winds for much of the time heading at us from the south west across the Atlantic Ocean – and a warm current into the bargain – does give us a number of benefits and Polypipe is one company that believes that preparing now, by conserving precious rainwater supplies, would not be a moment too soon to take rainwater harvesting seriously.

An amazing one third of all water used in the home gets flushed down the toilet – and in most homes, that’s drinking quality water. The roof on an average 4-bed family home captures more than 100,000 litres of rainwater each year – most of which currently goes down the drain and is wasted. When you think that a typical family uses 70,000 litres of water each year on flushing the toilet, clothes washing and outdoor use – watering the garden and cleaning cars, it simply makes sense to harvest it and use it and save on your water bills into the bargain. There are a selection of rainwater harvesting systems available from small ones that just provide for watering gardens and washing cars to larger systems that provide pumped supplies for use in the home alongside mains water.

Polypipe, the UK’s leading building products company, offers Rainstream – a range of rainwater harvesting options designed for everyone – with three straightforward options. Ideal for new build, for retrofit and already seeing major interest from the self-build marketplace, Rainstream is a very simple straightforward rainwater harvesting ‘package’. You can even see it on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS0RnXF_5pM .

The Rainstream system is available as a gravity fed or a pressurised system. Within a gravity fed system, water is pumped from the Rainstream Tank to a header tank in the loft. The water is then fed to each appliance by gravity. Pressurised systems use a pump to feed water directly to the appliance or appliances on demand. The units come pre-assembled ready for installation – you can select from a wide range of tank sizes to meet your specific needs – and the rainwater harvested by the system goes through a three stage filtration process, down to 130 microns. Installation of a Rainstream system from Polypipe will reduce mains water usage by around 50% – a valuable saving particularly if you’re on a metered water supply. The control panel is small and neat and the only evidence that a house has a rainwater harvesting system on the property.

For more information click on to www.polypipe.com.

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