Rainwater harvesting in Germany

The average annual rainfall varies from 563 mm to 855 mm. In Germany there is currently a growing interest in the promotion of household rainwater collection particularly at local government level. Due to serious industrial air pollution and strict regulations regarding drinking water standards, household rainwater supplies are limited to non-potable uses such as toilet flushing, clothes washing and garden watering. The main advantage of designing rainwater collection systems in this way or in conjunction with seepage wells is that many German cities charge householders an annual rainwater drainage fee, which is waived off if rainwater runoff is retained or returned to ground allowing significant savings. In many German towns and cities, grants and subsidies are available to encourage householders to construct rainwater tanks and seepage wells.

Rainwater Harvesting at Frankfurt Airport: This system is biggest in Germany and helps to save approximately 1,00,000 cum of water per year. The cost of the system is 1.5 million dm (us$63000) in the year 1993. The combination of huge catchment areas and simple technology has worked wonders. A system of rainwater harvesting was installed with an expectation of handling 13 million people every year, the system collects water from roofs of the new terminal which has an area of 26,800 square meters. The water is collected in the basement of the airport where six tanks have been put up, with a storage capacity of 100 cubic meters (cu m), the water is mainly used for toilet flushing, watering plants and cleaning the air conditioning system with refined river water. Rainwater is being harvested at two huge complexes in Germany.

Rainwater Harvesting at Technical University of Darmstadt: The university has another colossal rainwater harvesting system. Since 1993, a combination of rainwater harvesting and used water is being supplied to the university. The water is used for toilet flushing and supplied to labotories of the university for cooling and cleaning purposes. Ever since this system has been installed, only 20% of the water demand is covered by drinking water, amounting to a saving of 80,000 cum of drinking water per year.










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