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Author Topic: Environment Agency: Harvesting rainwater for domestic uses guide  (Read 43666 times)
Paulh_Boats
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« on: March 08, 2008, 06:23:16 PM »

Practical information from the Environment Agency:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/cwb_ch7_grey_rain_889316.pdf


They emphasise that water saving is more cost effective than commercial rainwater systems. One surprising fact is that toilet flushing and garden watering can use the whole years worth of rain falling on the average roof, and some roofs may not be large enough to meet the potential rainwater use.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 04:45:34 PM by Paulh_Boats » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2008, 06:59:01 PM »

its fu5ked any how...


some new houses i know donot even think about rainwater - they just recycle the water of the washing machine, shower bath
with a good filter......


its all about meters  and how we are calculated  (big brother is w..............)

is it ok to be connected or should there be a questioning ?



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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2008, 07:34:47 PM »

the meter for fresh water used calculates the wastewater, or did it change ?
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 09:15:55 PM »

the meter for fresh water used calculates the wastewater, or did it change ?

Yes they usually assume 95% of freshwater is returned as waste water.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 10:14:01 AM »

Nice link paul, I've had a read of the leaflet but I can't really understand why the state that saving water is not cost effective? Do they mean that if you pay a company to install a huge rain/grey water havesting system you won't recoup the cost in saved water charges?

I agree that the consumption should be reduced first (same a electric and solar) but the leaflet just seems to hint that collecting water is not worth doing..... which it obviously is worth doing.

Am I just mis reading or going round the twist?










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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 10:20:41 AM »

What an own goal Flipping Flowery Sunhats banghead

No wonder this country is in a mess,
No wonder the planet is struggling to survive.

Why cant all the gov agencies sing the same song? 
Saving water isnt just about saving money. Sometimes as Stern pointed out, we have to forget the financial cost and look at the life cost
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 01:12:01 PM »

Forget the leaflets - rainwater schemes save loads of

Get a meter first, that has saved us nearly 200 off a fixed bill of 430!  40% goes down the loo so another 50 - 75 can be saved.

I think storage is the issue - we have 600L in water butts but that's only a weeks worth in dry weather.


You can put a DIY system together for low cost, the large underground tanks are the most expensive item so shop around. Tank size is a compromise - you need over 3000L for a full summer drought that might not even happen, but a smaller 1000L tank is much cheaper and easier to install.

-Paul




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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 10:32:50 PM »

Paul, thanks for posting this. Having read it through it sounds very sensible and realistic. They seem to be saying that the best approach is to keep it simple :

1. Save water - the biggest way of making a difference.
2. Collect rainwater in a butt or storage tank but don't buy a big fancy system - use for toilet flushing
3. Use greywater for the garden (non edible plants) but avoid storing it. From my understanding they are saying that there is probably no point in installing an expensive greywater or rainwater treatment system as it will cost more to run in monetary and energy terms than can be saved.

Perhaps the first few sentences are a little ambiguous but reading the whole leaflet shows that they are not very approving of big complex greywater/rainwater harvesting systems and favour the much simpler approach advocated by the members of this forum.


Where gardens need a lot of watering, simple, low cost greywater diversion systems can save considerable quantities of water at a time of peak demand. Similarly, the humble water butt is able to capture rain from summer showers, allowing gardeners to apply the water where it is needed most.

Untreated greywater can be used for watering the garden if it is used immediately after it is produced, but it should not be used on edible crops. The wastewater from kitchen sinks and dishwashers is not usually collected as it is too heavily contaminated.

If it is correctly collected and stored, rainwater can be used for toilets, washing machines and watering gardens without further treatment.
The garden water butt is the simplest way of collecting rainwater.
It does not need any treatment or mains backup, and it does not have to supply water when temperatures are below freezing. Household rainwater systems are, however, much more sophisticated and their installation is quite complex.

There are currently no UK regulations relating to the quality of water needed for toilets and washing machines. Extensive studies in Germany have concluded that, if rainwater is collected properly, it can be used in toilets and washing machines without being disinfected. Mains water backup must be in accordance with the Water Regulations, which means using a type AA or AB airgap, and pipes should be clearly identified.
Some commercial systems have included UV disinfection to address perceived health risks, but this uses a large amount of energy which can offset some of the benefit of saving water. As well as the environmental impact of UV treatment, it is also expensive to run and maintain.


What's not to like?  Huh
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 10:48:34 PM »

Quote
Yes they usually assume 95% of freshwater is returned as waste water.

thats why some people i know filter and store their water from the sinks and showers, bath.... for toilets, washing etc  to save water, money and then the money for paying for waste water   Tongue instead of a rainwater system

because they pay for incoming water and thats then assumed  the outgoing water (for that they have to pay as well)


I personally would go 100 % rainwater  and filter and reuse water ( if roof/land/house allows ) and buy the few pints of sparkling water a family needs for drinking


Billi
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 11:00:52 PM »

It's good news for the water companies - charging to treat 95% of the volume of clean water as waste when people are putting it on their gardens instead of down the drain  stir
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 12:49:11 AM »

Anyone understand where the 18 days/5% figure comes from? Is that how long it is between when it normally rains or something?

For me the sums are 550mm * 56m2 * 0.9 *0.9 *0.05= 1.2m3. And in fact we've got about 1200l of water butt (6 x 200l), which is enough for all the garden watering (never run out yet, although come close) but it's getting its rain off only half the roof, so I reckon we could usefully have at least twice that much - i.e 10% of annual rainfail, and probably more if we were using it for internal flushing too.

(we've had to remove our cistern-flush reducers as the foul drains seem to be a bit 'sluggish' and really do need quite a lot of flushing. We'd had to unbung them twice in 2 years so far (lovely!)). This of course is an incentive for using rainwater for flushing.
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 01:07:57 AM »

I'm not on a water meter, so don't have any financial incentive, but it's something I'd like to do (shame the water companies can't offer a little funding to encourage people not on water meters - I'm sure it would be very cost-effective from their point of view).

I'd happily use untreated rainwater for watering plants/greenhouse, and for flushing toilets....but not keen on using it for washing. Bird poo being the reason. I would have thought additional filtering etc would be a good idea before washing clothes in it.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 06:57:11 AM »

I think the part of the document that got me a little miffed was in the first paragraph

"whereas greywater and rainwater systems often increase the total amount of energy used and CO2 emissions"

I know the word used is 'often' but this is the sort of ammunition for people not to be eco-conscious.

It would have been better to just state carefull selection of appropriate water saving / recycling methods should be adopted. Then continue with the document which does suggest this. This document still for me does not really promot being water conscious and whilst give assumption on how much water you can harvest still gives me the feelling of its not worth it for Joe public.

OK I admin sterilising it etc is not really worth it, but I find the tone is more on the negatives than positive actions.... please tell me its just me being pedantic, and there is not actually a conspiracy withthe government and the water companies!

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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 09:38:21 AM »

I had an argument with severn trent over the rain water aspect of my bill

why should i pay drainage charge for water that falls as rain, and will i get a rebate in a dry year.
Of course not cos they say it all averages out.
Yet if i connected all the down pipes to the veg garden i still have to pay them for nothing.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 10:23:23 AM »

ah.. the thing is Ames is that all water belongs to the water company Undecided So if it falls out of the sky and goes into the ground which you own, the water company will eventually get the water (might take a 1000 years or so depending on the water table, etc). Thus you have given them water which they have to treat.

Wonder how you fare with composting toilets and reed bed filtration if the water company did not supply your water at all?

On the other hand, if you flushed all your toilets with rain / grey water you arn't charged for it to be cleaned as it was not metered (well for the flushing). I suposed you could reduce your water bill by around 25%-33% if you did this method (even better if your neighbour is not on a meter and is really friendly Wink.
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