Rainwater Storage & Recycling
It is possible to live off of rainwater collection in Melbourne with a relatively small tank because of the spread of rainfall events throughout the year. However it rains effectively for only a very short season in much of Australia and so collection area and storage capacity needs careful consideration in these areas.
The separation of supply pipe work for distinct uses can allow the use of lesser quality bore water for toilet flushing and garden use etc, retaining the best quality for drinking and cooking.
Grey water (baths, showers, basins & washing machines) can be used for garden use and as systems improve and governments allow the expansion of re-use applications will improve utilisation. Some black water systems (as above but including sinks and WC’s) are becoming available where all the water from a home can be recycled for garden use and we can expect that these systems will eventually provide us with more applications in the future.
Whilst collection and recycling is appropriate, prudent use of supplies is not only recommended, it makes economic sense. With considered planning and layout pipe run lengths can be reduced and waste of runoff water on hot supply systems reduced.
Efficient fittings and precautions to prevent losses all go to reducing supply costs which will inevitably rise over the near future.