Rainwater harvesting is cheap and easy and can help alleviate localised flooding by reducing run off. Any container can be used for rainwater harvesting if positioned in a suitable place, and customers of Wessex Water are currently able to get water butts at subsidised prices. Rainwater can be used on the garden even when there is a hosepipe ban. Rainwater harvesting can also be quite sophisticated, from special guttering to systems and plumbing for using rainwater to flush toilets and in washing machines.
Wessex Water is offering their customers discounted water butt kits from Blackwalls, which include rain diverter kits. For more details call 0870 844 3015.
Waterwise is a non-government organisation, focused on decreasing water use and pushing for large scale water efficiency. The website contains tips for water saving, dishwasher and washing machine rankings, information on water saving devices lots of information on water use in general. Call 020 7957 4615.
A working example in Mendip: The Glastonbury Spring Water Company
When relocated their bottling factory, Glastonbury Spring Water decided it was the perfect opportunity to develop sustainable solutions where possible, which would also enhance the environmental credentials of the company. Amongst the projects is a reed bed sewerage waste system which provides a low maintenance way of dealing with sewage, and at the same time providing an attractive, natural habitat for wildlife, saving energy which would otherwise be used in conventional sewage treatment. The system could also be used in a domestic setting, although the costs would be prohibitive for many.
Motivation: Developing the reed bed system with the ethos of the company to try and do everything they can to reduce their environmental impact.
Results: The system has been found to work extremely well and be very cost-effective and simple, so the company is very satisfied with it.
Other sustainable ways of working: The Company was born of an environmentally sound ethos, providing water for the Glastonbury festival from a local spring, and it has always been conscious of its impacts and how to improve its practices. Other initiatives at the state-of-the-art production facility include sheep's wool insulation, under floor heating from a ground source heat pump, and solar panels for hot water.
Glastonbury Spring Waters Top Tip: 'Think holistically. Create systems and use technologies that make the best use of energy and resources for your given situation.'