Charles and Judy Ainger wash their clothes in rainwater. Living in the dry central belt of England, just to the west of London in Chalfont Saint Giles, they have being trying to save water for years, collecting rain in butts for garden use and showering instead of bathing.
Recently, however, they decided to go further, and now have a rainwater harvesting system which feeds one of their loos and the washing machine.
With bills rising, and water restrictions increasing, there has never been a better time to see how you can save and harvest every precious drop.
“Apart from saving money, our clothes come out of the washing machine much cleaner, we use less detergent and our washing machine suffers less from limescale build up,” says Charles Ainger, who three years ago oversaw the installation of a subterranean 3,500 litre tank. The Aingers live in a region where water comes from chalk aquifers and limescale build-up in machines and pipes is a major problem. “We don’t have this problem any more,” says Charles, a retired water engineer.
“The only drawbacks to the system, which has dried out once in the past 12 months, are that we initially got the wrong kind of pump, which was very expensive to run, and if leaves get stuck in the filter at the top of the guttering, they quickly impede water flowing into the tank.”