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Why Community Rainwater Harvesting Systems Are Essential for New Housing Developments in Ireland

The installation of rainwater harvesting systems in Ireland is on the rise. Rainwater is the most sustainable water source. It helps maintain the balance between demand and supply besides offering several other benefits for Irish homes

Another aspect of an efficient economy is community rainwater harvesting systems. These systems offer the best approach for achieving water reuse at scale. But why is this the case? Let’s explore why there are growing calls to make community-style systems mandatory for new housing developments in Ireland.

The Need for Change

We need to revolutionize how we manage water in new developments. Instead of relying on aging infrastructure, we should manage rainfall as close to where it lands as possible. This approach isn’t just about temporarily storing rainwater and slowly releasing it into drains. It’s about reusing water efficiently. Both technologies complement each other, creating superior water management.

Addressing Key Water Industry Challenges:

Rainwater harvesting technologies tackle three major problems the water industry faces:

1. Water Scarcity:

Water scarcity is becoming a pressing issue in Ireland, especially in urban areas like Dublin. Bigger cities are already experiencing significant water stress. Irish households currently use an average of 150 liters of water per person per day. With targets set to reduce this to 110 liters by 2030, we need significant improvements in water efficiency.

2. Climate Change and Stormwater:

Ireland’s weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable due to climate change. This is resulting in heavier and more frequent storms. Traditional drainage systems process both cleaner stormwater and human waste together, often becoming overwhelmed during these storms. This leads to untreated human waste being released into rivers and streams. In 2020, there were over 1,000 incidents of untreated wastewater being discharged into Irish waterways.

3. Carbon Intensity:

Producing mains water is highly carbon-intensive compared to sustainable supplies from rainwater harvesting systems. For every cubic meter of rainwater used instead of mains water, we save 0.285 kg of carbon. Scaling this up, using 1,000 cubic meters of rainwater saves 285 kg of carbon.

The Community Approach

Here’s why a communal approach with multiple individual rainwater harvesting systems is an effective way to implement rainwater harvesting in new housing developments in Ireland:

  • Centralized Maintenance: Maintaining one system is easier than maintaining multiple smaller ones. Homeowners won’t have to deal with specialist equipment. Maintaining a single large tank and pump is cheaper and more straightforward than maintaining 50 smaller systems.
  • Ease of Installation: Excavating one storage tank reduces the scope for error. It’s simpler and more efficient. If you are looking for an individual residential or commercial system, we can help you choose and install the ideal one for your requirements.
  • Integration with Attenuation Storage: A communal system connects to attenuation storage, contributing to 100% of the required capacity.
  • Commercial Grade Components: We use higher quality, reliable, adaptable, and longer-lasting components in communal systems.
  • Centralized Monitoring: We can monitor water savings centrally, ensuring the system’s effectiveness.
  • Compliance and Safety: Communal systems comply with BS 16941:2018 and prevent illegal mains water bypasses, adhering to Irish water regulations.
  • Professional Maintenance: Professional organizations such as Rainwater Harvesting Systems Ireland can maintain the system, ensuring long-term community benefits.
  • Accessibility for Maintenance: Accessing a community system for maintenance is easier than accessing individual properties.

Design and Maintenance Considerations

Specialists must perform regular planned maintenance to reduce breakdowns and achieve optimal water savings. The system design should include multiple failsafe features to ensure homes aren’t left without a water supply. An experienced manufacturer, like Rainwater Harvesting Systems Ireland, should handle the design and maintenance to ensure the best outcomes.

How Community Rainwater Harvesting Systems Work

  • Rainwater from all the gutters flows to a large underground storage tank.
  • A self-cleaning filter removes leaves and dirt.
  • The underground storage keeps the water cool, inhibiting bacterial action and preventing it from turning yellow.
  • Features like a calmed inlet, floating pump intake, surface cleaning by siphon, and rodent guard help maintain crystal clear water.
  • A submerged pump in the storage tank supplies water under pressure to communal facilities, such as washing areas, toilets, and irrigation systems.
  • A choice of backup systems ensures automatic mains water flows if the rainwater runs out.

Benefits For The Community

  • Reduces reliance on mains water, lowering water bills for community facilities.
  • Provides a sustainable and reliable water source during droughts and water restrictions.
  • Promotes environmental sustainability by conserving valuable drinking water.
  • Enhances community resilience and self-sufficiency.
  • Supports communal green spaces and gardens with an eco-friendly irrigation solution.


By incorporating automatic backwash technologies during the design stage, we can further reduce maintenance requirements, eliminating the need for physical replacement of cartridge filters.

Community rainwater harvesting systems address water scarcity on a larger scale. They manage stormwater efficiently, reduce carbon intensity, and provide a practical, centralized solution for maintenance and monitoring.

If you would like a personalized consultation please with us today. get in touch

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