Saving on Bills and Resources: Pipelife Launches Smart Rainwater Harvesting Solution for Homeowners

27. September 2023 | 6 min read

As the interest in green housing solutions is gaining momentum, rainwater harvesting has emerged as a simple yet impactful practice that every household can adopt. Apart from providing a source of water that’s free and readily available, rainwater harvesting also offers environmental benefits, contributing to water conservation efforts and alleviating the strain on treatment plants. Pipelife Czechia has introduced a complete stormwater management solution for homeowners, which not only covers everything from roof to drain but also offers a smart monitoring and control system, making rainwater harvesting simpler and easier than ever before. 

Autumn colors fade as a rainy breezy day soaks the back patio and garden

A Greener Future Starts at Home

As the demand for water across the EU keeps growing, so are the concerns about preserving our water resources — especially in regions already affected by water stress. While the Czech Republic boasts a modern water supply infrastructure with low levels of non-revenue water, OECD has qualified the country as water-stressed: its annual per-capita water resources of 1,234 m3 are well below the EU average of over 10,000 m3.

Luckily, water stress mitigation measures are already endorsed by national legislation. Since 2021, all new buildings in the Czech Republic must be equipped with a rainwater collection system to obtain building permits. The preferred disposal methods for excess water are local infiltration or evaporation. 

Furthermore, government subsidies have been made available for homeowners who want to install rainwater reuse solutions for irrigation or other non-potable uses. 

Innovative Digital Solution Makes Rainwater Harvesting Simple

Pipelife’s underground rainwater harvesting systems are already popular across Europe due to their modular design, high capacity, simple installation and maintenance. Responding to increased local funding and growing customer interest, Pipelife Czechia has now taken things to the next level, introducing a smart control system tailored to single-family homes. 

The new solution allows homeowners to locally store and reuse rainwater for irrigation, flushing toilets or even washing laundry. Furthermore, maintaining such a system is effortless; it’s only needed to replace the filter cartridge occasionally.

Smart rainwater harvesting combines roof drainage, a leaf catcher, a filtration shaft, an underground rainwater storage reservoir with an automated pump control- and water level monitoring. The solution can be connected to an infiltration- or sewage system depending on the local geological conditions. 

“The overall result is a sustainable family house — climate resilient and resource-saving,” states Michal Zalesak, Rainwater and Smart Solutions Product Manager at Pipelife Czechia. “Smart rainwater harvesting offers a straightforward and cost-efficient way for homeowners to save on water bills, preserve drinking water and simplify garden care.”

Pipelife Czechia's smart rainwater harvesting solutions entail: 1) Rainwater capture and filtration 2) Water storage and monitoring 3) Automated water distribution for reuse according to the homeowner's preferences.

Tailored Approach to Every Customer

As no two houses are the same, Pipelife’s team customizes each system to the client’s individual needs, considering the size of roof- and garden surfaces, the number of household residents and the preferred water reuse purposes. 

The homeowner can choose to connect their rainwater harvesting solution to the garden irrigation supply and/or in-house water distribution systems. In the latter case, mechanical and carbon filters are added for water treatment, ensuring the water is safe for purposes like laundry washing or flushing WC.

Once the system is installed, the customer can set the desired minimum and maximum water levels, and the pump adjusts automatically, directing the collected rainwater for the desired purpose. 

“If the water level drops too low, the pump will stop, preventing aeration,” Michal Zalesak explains. “And if the water levels become too high, as during heavy rainfalls, the surplus water will be directed from the primary reservoir to the connected underground infiltration system. “

Additionally, it is possible to extend the smart rainwater harvesting system with an automatic valve and connect it to the house’s main water supply network. This way, the storage tank will be automatically refilled in case of rainwater shortage, and the water supply cycle for irrigation or household needs will continue without adjustments or interruptions.

Multiple Green Solutions Combined

As most eco-conscious homeowners are willing to implement several environmentally-friendly solutions at their homes, the new system is designed to be easily integrated with green roofing systems and solar panels. In residential areas under development, it is possible to install a centralized rainwater harvesting solution serving multiple households instead of installing several separate systems.

Furthermore, the solution is compatible with other sustainablee products from the Wienerberger buildings portfolio, such as Tondach ceramic roof tiles and Semmelrock eco-paving systems.

The innovative rainwater harvesting solution was launched in the Czech Republic this month, and in the future, it is planned to offer similar smart systems in other European markets as well. 

Apart from serving homeowners, Pipelife has also developed larger-scale smart rainwater management solutions for municipalities and commercial areas that work in synergy with the local blue-green infrastructure.

“Pipelife’s smart rainwater harvesting and reuse systems are a must-have response to the national strategies for mitigating climate change impacts,” sums up Zalesak. “Moreover, they also align with our own sustainable development goals and vision.” 

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