Articles & Case Studies

Rainwater harvesting helps housing association meet green objectives

Posted: Friday 5th December 2008

A new housing association development in Bromsgrove will save valuable resources by using rainwater harvesting systems from Marley Plumbing and Drainage. Energy efficiency specialist AW Mathews Heating and Plumbing of Hereford, has installed the Marley system in ten houses and two blocks of flats in order to meet the sustainability objectives of the client.

Rainwater harvesting is becoming an increasingly important way of reducing domestic water consumption as social landlords apply the standards of the Code for Sustainable Homes of contributing to sustainable home building. Water that falls on the roof of the house is collected, stored and used for applications that do not require high-purity, energy-intensive mains water.

For the Bromsgrove development AW Matthews installed combination rainwater harvesting systems in each of the ten houses for garden irrigation and toilet flushing. Each system comprises an underground rainwater tank made up of 24 Marley Waterloc stormwater management cells, a storage tank in the loft to store water for toilet flushing, a pump and a control unit. When rainwater is available the control system controls the pump to fill the storage tank inside the house. If the rainwater tank runs low the system switches back to main supply.

Each underground tank can store 4.3 m3 of rainwater and also includes an additional 2.15 m3 infiltration (or soakaway) capacity which acts as an overflow. All rainwater is twice filtered to prevent the system from becoming clogged with leaves and silts. A silt trap filters leaves, moss and large particles and a further mesh filter inside the tank deals with the finer silts.

Bespoke 10,000 litre capacity systems were installed for the flats to allow for the number toilets in each block.

Alun Mathews of AW Mathews Heating and Plumbing Engineers said that the Marley systems not only met the environmental requirements of the client, they were also very easy to install.

“The tanks didn’t require a structural base they were simply laid on sharp sand, which saved a lot of time on the installation, and there was no need to use a crane. What’s more, Marley provided a very good service,” said Mr Matthews.

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