How to maintain rain harvesting systems

Rain harvesting systems are easy to maintain. The water pump will not need maintaining. But the the filter does, and sediment has to be cleared.

rain harvesting systems filter

Most people that are interested in installing rain harvesting systems want to know how much maintenance is involved.

As with many other renewable technologies, maintenance will increase the life span of rain harvesting systems.  It will also make sure the system is running at peak efficiency, reducing payback times and cutting bills.


Maintaining rain harvesting systems:

Choose a well-designed system:

The best way to ensure that rain harvesting systems will require little maintenance is to install a well-designed system. This would also protect the quality of the water, which would improve during the storage period providing that it was hidden from sunlight.


Clean the filter:

There are many types rain harvesting systems and therefore the amount of cleaning needed would depend on the system that you have installed.

There are systems with ‘basket’ type filters, which are located in either the downpipe or the actual turret. It may be necessary to check this regularly as leaves can get trapped in some systems.

The frequency in which this should be checked would depend on whether there are trees in close proximity. In autumn when there is a greater amount of leaf fall.  Throughout the life span of rain harvesting systems each household would work out a schedule suited to them, with regards to cleaning the filter.

There are systems that cost that little bit extra and have an almost horizontal mesh filter. These systems are practically maintenance free as the rainwater washes the leaves away as it falls.

This system will also accumulate a certain amount of sediment during the course of a year. However there are devices, which are able to reduce the amount.  These are additional requirements to the system so there is an added cost. If a calmed inlet is installed this would prevent any water that arrives in the tank from disturbing any silt within the system.


Clean the sediment out:

Manufacturers usually recommend that the tank be checked regularly although it may not need to be cleaned out for several years.

Lowering a water pump into the bottom of the tank can clean out the sediment. When the tank is almost empty it is essential to pump out the silt with the remaining water. A hosepipe or pressure washer might be helpful when cleaning the sediment out from the tank.


The water pump:

The pump should not require any maintenance and they are usually long lasting. If the pump does break down and needs to be checked, it can be pulled out from the tank by a cord.

If the pump did need to be replaced it would cost around £200. It is always best to check the warranty on a pump.


Image Sourced: Flickr

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