New rainwater trial to come to Inveraray homes

Posted: Monday 12th January 2015

An innovative rainwater harvesting trial is being carried out at a new Argyll housing development by Scottish Water and Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA).

12 new homes at the Barn Park development in Inveraray will take part in the trial. Six of the houses will be fitted with rainwater harvesting technology, and six will have normal water systems built to current standards so all 12 can be measured and compared.

The homes with the technology will use captured rainwater to flush toilets, hopefully reducing consumption in the house by between 20 and 30%. All the houses will have their water use recorded by way of a smart monitor which can store and send data without needing to be physically inspected.

The trial will run for three years to ensure sufficient comparative data is collected. The information will be shared with Building Standards to help their understanding of the potential benefits of the system.

Andy Wilson, Project Manager, Scottish Water, said: “This project is important because one of the key findings from our recent customer consultation was that Scots want to see their water charges remaining low.

“Producing water is energy and cost intensive, and with rising energy costs we are constantly looking for ways we can help or customers use less water without impacting on their quality of life.

“Although Scotland is awash with water, the production of drinking water that meets regulatory standards and ensures the on-going health of Scots is expensive. By investigating technologies that use rainwater in a smart way we are taking those first crucial steps to changing how we view our consumption and clever use of water.

“While the west coast of Scotland is not known for its lack of water, technology like this can help reduce our impact on the environment, maximise available resources and help keep customers costs down.

“ACHA have been very positive and helpful in helping develop this trial. The information gained from the trial will help Scottish Water understand how rainwater can be used to support development throughout Scotland in the future.”

Alastair MacGregor, Chief Executive, ACHA said: “The new build development at Inveraray will not only provide much needed homes but is being constructed to enhanced building warrant standards. ACHA is committed to helping promote vibrant, healthy and environmentally responsible and thriving communities. The partnership working with Scottish Water on this project meets with our aims of effective use of resources and sustainable development”.

The development of 12 homes for affordable rent is progressing well with completion planned for August 2015. The construction contract is being carried out by Stewart McNee Ltd., of Dunoon.

Scottish Water is also making massive differences within its own business to reduce the amount of water produced and used. Leakage has been reduced by nearly 50% since 2006.

Scottish Water has also audited all its major offices to identify and implement actions needed to reduce its own water use, handed out shower timers for staff and kicked off an internal campaign to make all 3,600 employees of Scottish Water into water efficiency ambassadors.

Scottish Water is also working on an education programme that will encourage future generations to value water as a precious resource and inform young people about the role the utility plays in protecting the environment and sustaining wildlife throughout Scotland.

Research by the Department for Energy and Climate Change shows 18% of domestic energy use is used for heating water, and with high energy prices it makes good sense for Scots to use water wisely.

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