Despite the fact that the water companies lose millions of litres of purified water through leaking pipes and water seems to hardly ever stop pouring on our heads in the UK, we’re told we should reduce our water use.
Once every ten years or so, we have a brilliant summer and out comes the hosepipe ban then we’re all forced to treat every drop as precious whilst our gardens try and turn into deserts.
There is no shortage of water in the UK or the world for that matter. We’ve seas full of the stuff. What we do have is a shortage of fresh water in some areas and over-use of locally available supplies.
In the UK we have that problem, especially in the south east of England where the amount of drinkable water that can be delivered is on the edge of demand. The property and population density are causing stress on the delivery system in the driest area of the country.
If there’s just a single person or couple in a house and you’re not using great volumes of water, then it will most likely pay you to change to a water meter. Eventually we’ll all be on a water meter whether we want to be or not.
There are no great money savings to be easily made in the home. If you look at the cost of water, not flushing a toilet maybe saves you a penny or two. Of course, if you fit a new toilet, it will flush with nearly half the amount of water they used to use and dual flush (light and full) are about as efficient as a water closet can get.
Showering uses less water than a bath, unless you stand in a pumped power shower for ages. Power showers can use more water than a bath! Not running the tap whilst cleaning your teeth saves a bit as well.
A tap dripping at a rate of one drop per second wastes up to 28 litres of water a week!
New washing machines are not just energy efficient, they use less water as well. It’s not worth buying a new washing machine just for that but when the old one dies, your new one will save a few pounds on water each year.
One of the biggest uses of water is the garden and come a drought, they don’t want you using thousands of litres of purified, piped water to keep your lawn green. Bit unfair on those of us growing our own food though.
Hosepipe bans don’t apply to your own collected rain water or grey water. Grey water is the waste water from the baths and sink. You can store your water in butts to use on the garden without worrying about cost or legal problems in a drought.
Grey Water for Garden Use
I’d avoid using very grey water (i.e. very soapy water) neat onto food crops – dilute if possible with rainwater. I wouldn’t worry at all about using it for decorative borders or lawns.
Collecting Rain Water for Garden Use
All you need is some water butts, linking kits and a diverter that fits onto your downpipe, preferably one to filter leaves etc. Even in the dry south-east, there’s more than enough rain from the roof to fill as much storage as you are likely to be able to have.
If you’re using water butts then you may need to use something like these Ceramic Chips from Harrod Horticultural. You can keep recycled rainwater in your water butt fresh, energised and uncontaminated for 10 years by hanging a bag of these EM Ceramic Chips inside. The pure water will be ideal for developing strong and healthy plants.
They have quite a good of all the water butts and accessories you will need to get started here: Water Butts
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