In Australia, where the country has been plagued by drought for years, it’s mandatory to recycle rainwater. So, it should come as no surprise that an ingenious method of rainwater harvesting was invented there, and is now distributed worldwide — including right here in Ontario.
The developer of the Rainwater HOG, Sally Dominguez, an architectural practitioner, was searching for a system that would allow her to store rainwater under decks and patios. For many of us in urban centres, Sally recognized that space was at a premium and underground cisterns can be a challenge to install after a house has been built, while rain barrels either don’t capture enough water, or take up too much room. Sally was told by tank salespeople that it wasn’t possible to put rainwater harvesting tanks under her deck because they wouldn’t work horizontally — so she set out to prove them wrong and designed a system that works horizontally or vertically and can be added on to as your needs (and/or budget) change.
The Rainwater HOG consists of one or many tanks that can be attached to each other. Their slim lines mean that they can be attached to walls or fences or stored under unused areas such as decks. I spoke with Denis Orendt of eco-work.ca, the distributor of the product in Ontario, to ask if a pump was necessary for use. He said it all depended on system’s intended use and where the tanks were located, but they can work either by gravity or with a pump; each situations is different. Uses for the tanks vary from greenhouse water, to agricultural uses, to watering your garden. If incorporated into a home’s design early enough in the process they can also be used to capture grey water from showers and sinks for reuse in toilets. The units are slim enough at 20″ to be nestled in between studs built 24″ apart.
Dimensions: Each tank holds 50 gallons/189 litres, can be attached to a wall and added to over time, or stored horizontally under decks. Each module is 9 1/2″ x 20″ x 71″ and weighs 44 lbs when empty and about 440 lbs when full.
Material: The Hog is made from food grade polyethylene plastic which has been approved for storing potable (drinkable) water by the FDA in the US. However, it is NOT recommended to drink water stored in these tanks unless further treated with a UV system or reverse osmosis or other approved water treatment system. Toxic metals in roofing materials and animal waste can contaminate rainwater run-off.
Not sure what the system can do for your water consumption?
- 2 HOGs full of rainwater can irrigate a 140sq ft garden year round or provide 25 days emergency water for 4 people
- 6 HOGs could rain-flush a 2 person household all year
- 6 HOGs could run a front load washer all year for a 4-person household (the PH of rainwater is gentle on clothes).
Retail cost: $350 per module plus the installation kit. Installation not included in the price.
For more information contact Denis Orendt (Ontario/Eastern Canada Distributor):
RSS Systems ON Inc.: http://rssystems.ca/
PO Box 832, Cobourg ON, K9A 4S3
For distribution in western Canada visit the H2OG website
Is the cost of rain harvesting worth it over a short period
Regarding cost I guess it all depends on your municipality’s water policies. I believe in some places such as Australia it’s compulsory. Here in Canada where our water costs are far too low people are motivated by environmental concern or securing an alternate water supply during water restrictions in times of drought. Payback doesn’t usually get taken into account for rainwater harvesting devices…yet.
Bangalore has made rainwater harvesting compulsary for new buildings over 1200ft2 and for existing buildings over 2400ft2. Already, 18,000 out of 54,000 buildings are fitted with a rainwater harvesting system. Perhaps this could be adopted elsewhere and incorporate the Rain Hog?