What is Stormwater Harvesting?
Stormwater harvesting involves the collection and reuse of rainwater entering the stormwater drainage system, which would otherwise end up in the ocean. In urban areas, rain that falls on the roof of your house, or collects on paved areas like driveways, roads and footpaths is carried away through a system of pipes that is separate from the sewerage system.This complements other urban local or household management practices such as greywater reuse systems, water recycling and the use of rainwater tanks.
While stormwater harvesting may differ between locations, these projects generally involve:
- the collection of rainwater from drains, creeks or ponds
- temporary storage of stormwater in small dams or tanks
- treatment to remove contaminants such as pathogens and pollutants; and distribution to users.
Benefits of Stormwater Harvesting
- Replacement of high quality potable water with lesser quality potable, or even non potable water
- Toilet flushing alone utilises approximately 20-25% of the water consumption in a household.
Why not flush our toilets with stormwater?
- Innovative total water cycle modelling conducted in Melbourne (Mitchell, Mein and McMahon 1997)
has shown that rainwater tanks for the (supplemented) supply of water for household garden watering and toilet flushing water supply reduced potable water consumption by 20%.