Here comes the rain – get it sorted with Xylem’s pumps

As I write this we are enjoying the tail end of a tropical storm, and the rain is pouring down outside the windows. So it seems quite apt that I am writing about a rainwater pump – although maybe not so apt that it’s solar powered.


It’s all very well collecting rainwater in your water butts, and even using grey water – from baths and washing up – in your garden. But actually getting it out of your chosen receptacle can be a bit of a chore.

The RainPerfect solar-powered rainwater pump aims to make the task simple by pumping stored rainwater at up to 0.9 bar through an ordinary garden hose, making it easier to water all around the garden, even if you have a sloping site.


The pump also lets you use low-pressure sprinklers or use a hand spray nozzle. The RainPerfect pump can fit onto the top of most water butts and barrels, and as it has no wires, and no running costs, is a cheap option. So if you pay for your water on a meter, you’re wining twice over – lower water bills and no electricity charges either.

The RainPerfect solar-powered pump costs £94.99 from retailers. See for more.

The makers, Xylem, also make the new AquaCharge portable pump, should you wish to get rid of water (which also might be quite handy if this weather continues!)

The pump is powered by a rechargeable battery and can be used to pump out aquariums, garden ponds and even hot tubs. It’s also useful for DIY tasks such as unblocking sinks and baths, and washing machines that won’t empty.

The AquaCharge has its own 2.4 metre (8ft) hose or can be connected to a standard garden hose.

It costs £61.55 inc VAT from retailers and from

Top Ways To Rainproof Your Gadgets

The one problem with the smartest gadgets is that they’re still at risk if the weather’s not looking too clever. The latest pieces of kit can’t afford to be fair-weather technology and with autumn looming, we explore the rainy-day solutions promising to safeguard our gadgets against the Great British elements.


Make your tablet watertight

One of the newer faces in our personal gadget inventory; the touchscreen tablet PC / iPad is becoming an evermore present element. But don’t let monsoon conditions get in your way of your precious portable processor. Slip on an Overboard iPad case and your trusty tablet will enjoy complete submersion down to 6m / 19ft. Ideal for checking your emails at the swim-up bar or posting a frantic Facebook status from the middle of a soggy festival moshpit. Use its patented “Slideseal” technology to lock your device into this thermoplastic polyurethane pouch, you can still access every touchscreen function and slip your hand into the back hand loop to switch your orientation between landscape and portrait. Overboard has just added a marine mount to its line-up, so you can even strap your daredevil device on to the hull of a boat if you really can’t prise yourself off your computer even when out on the water.

Safeguard your smartphone

No more ducking into doorways to save your prized smartphone when a call comes through on a drizzly day. Simply slip on a LifeProof Life Jacket and go about your business (or pleasure) without fear of a flash flood drowning your device. This fully submersible iPhone 4/4s (also fits other smartphones) case is made from high-density foam and even floats – ideal if a downturn in the weather inspires you to actively take the plunge and pursue a career in professional watersports.

Don’t drown your digital camera

If you’re still pursuing the purity and complexity of snap not achievable on your smartphone, don’t let your digital camera hold you back from getting right to the heart of the action. Treat it to a DiCaPac waterproof case and treat your portfolio to the most dramatic, gritty action shots whether you’re braving the rain-sodden high street or hope to launch a glittering photography career by capturing that long-pursued snap of the Loch Ness Monster by sneaking up on him underwater.

Drizzle-proof your digital music

Don’t let your prized mp3 player go out on a song when the weather’s iffy. Instead, swathe in the latest wet-weather gear and get to the heart of the action to the beat of your best rainy-day playlist. Why not try the Grace Digital ecoExtreme? This portable, waterproof speaker stores your mp3 player and broadcasts out your tunes; ideal for soaking up the last days of summer on the beach, when out on the kayak or persevering with a damp barbecue and need to run a summery soundtrack to brighten up the mood.

It’s clear that as technology becomes evermore portable, valuable and central to our worlds, there’s a mounting need to make it British-weatherproof. With the droves of accessories clamouring to clothe our every electronic device, there’s no need to restrict the use of our kit to drier days.