UK drought: Experts warn of 'flash flooding' with next rainfall
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Harvesting rainwater is a great way to make the most of the rainfall forecast in the coming days. Thunderstorm warnings have been issued by the Met Office as the heatwave draws to a close.
The Met Office says a “thundery mix” was expected to arrive in some parts of the country late on Sunday, continuing into the early part of this week.
Southern Water and South Eastern Water customers are already under a hosepipe ban, with Thames Water becoming the latest to warn customers it may have to enforce a temporary usage ban (TUB) for its customers in the southeast and west.
However, Britons can make use of the impending rain by harvesting the rainwater, which will alleviate pressure on water suppliers.
Experts from Happy DIY Home said: “Whether or not you yourself are personally affected by water shortage, harvesting and storing rainwater in your garden is an important step to take on the road to a more eco-friendly and sustainable way of life.”
How can I harvest rainwater?
The experts from Happy DIY Home said: “Harvesting rainwater from your home with rainwater harvesting systems is easier than you might think.
“It is likely that your home will already be fitted with guttering around the edge of the roof, and a downspout which will carry the water that falls on your roof down to the ground.
“It may then be carried away in pipes below the ground, or simply spill out onto the soil at a short distance from the wall of your property.”
If you have existing guttering and want to capture the water, the first step is to ensure your gutters are clear and channelling water properly.
Scoop out any leaves or other debris that is blocking the channels and preventing rainwater from flowing freely.
The next step is to think about where you would want to channel the water from your gutters.
You can invest in a rain barrel which is placed below the pipe, allowing water to run and collect freely.
The experts from Happy DIY Home added: “A storage tank or rain barrel which has a tap low down on its side is handy, as the rain barrel will give you easy access to the water you collect with your rainwater collection system.”
Another rainwater collection system option is to connect the gutter pipes on your home (or the tap on a container) to a soaker hose, irrigation pipe or irrigation channel.
This can direct the water that falls on your roof into a particular growing area.
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How to make the most of rainwater in your garden
Experts from Rain Harvesting Systems explained: “Some homes use hundreds of litres of drinkable water each year watering their garden, either through hosepipes or watering cans or through automated sprinkler systems.
“With our weather becoming more erratic, changing radically from heatwave to monsoon in a matter of days, homeowners are becoming more dependent on garden watering systems to irrigate their lawns, crops and flower beds.”
By collecting rainwater during heavy downpours, you can conserve this and use it to water your plants and lawn areas during dry spells.
You can fill up watering cans and buckets from a rainwater harvesting container or attach a hosepipe.
This could also be hugely beneficial to your plants and flowers, which tend to “prefer rainwater to mains water due to it being naturally soft and chlorine-free”.
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