Just celebraing the completion of installing rain water harvesting for the use of toilet flushing and washing machine. Biggest bonus is that our property borders a river which is 30mtr away. Applied to the Enviroment Agency, and under the change of law 2005, I'm allowed to extract up 2,000 gallons a day!
Everything is working well, rainwater is collected from the down pipes, and stored in a storage tanks of 2,000 litres (this wouldn't be adaquate for rainwater alone), this is pumped to a 250litre cold water storage tank in the loft. This is supplemented by mains water backup in the event of pump failure. There is a 1kw motor at the top of the riverbank, in the event of the tanks running low of rain water, this is topped up by river water. All components used are off the shelf and nothing bespoke which usually costs ££'s. The biggest challange of using rain/river or even recycled water is the installation of a seperate water pipe circuit within the building, this has been achieved as we have gradually refurbish each room (new pipe work installed ready for use at a later date). It is important that all pipe work is identified as non-potable and double check valves used for the loft backup tank.
Now looking to install a couple of Worcester-Bosch solar panels which I bought the other week!!
Best of all, reducingthe amount paid to the local water co. who charge about £1.17p per cubic metre (approx 100 toilet flushes). Bonus, a propotion of your water bill pays for sewerage, this is measure on the water used, so saving nearer the £2.00 mark for every cubicmetre!