Our climate is changing. In the past few months areas of the UK have been experiencing drought and yet we have seen so much rain that we wonder how we can still have areas of drought? What can we do? How should we be changing the ways we use water to protect our planet’s resources for future generations?
Renewable resources include a number of environmental technologies that we can use to help not just reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions being pumped into the atmosphere, but also decrease the speed at which our fossil fuels are being eradicated. Fossil fuels impact on all our lives; we use them to heat our homes and offices, cook, grow food, and to treat water.
These fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, release greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. CO2 emissions have increased over the years, affecting the Earth’s atmosphere and we need to start reducing our carbon footprint and the CO2 emissions we all generate. The UK’s Government is committed to a target of reducing our CO2 emissions by 20% and for 20% of the UK’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2020.
By installing environmental technologies you can also make savings on bills too. The use of rainwater harvesting (RWH) and grey water reuse systems is one way we can start to reduce our carbon footprint and save money. Currently, if you are taking all your water from the main supply for use around the home, you pay for this twice. To receive fresh water for washing, bathing and cooking you can either pay on a meter or an annual rate. You are also then being charged by your supplier to take away waste water and sewage.
In the UK we use approximately 150 litres of water per person per day and the Government’s targets are trying to encourage us to reduce this consumption to approximately 75 – 80 litres per person per day.
‘Wholesome water’ means water complying with the requirements of regulations made
under the Water Industry Act 1991 whereby suppliers are to provide a supply of wholesome water sufficient for domestic purposes.
The quality of the water that can be used is dependent upon its end use, and the appropriate quality needs to be assessed on the basis of risk. For example, water used for toilet flushing can be of relatively poor quality, as there is minor personal contact with the water and the water in the toilet is already contaminated.
‘Non-wholesome water’ is the name given to harvested rainwater, generally collected, stored and purified. Waste water from baths, sinks and showers is known as grey water. We can use this for car washing, toilet flushing, washing clothes (which reduces detergent and bleach), landscape irrigation/watering the garden and for livestock. With areas of the UK currently under a hosepipe ban, what would be a better way of ensuring we reduce the number of litres per day we use than by installing RWH and or grey water reuse systems?
There are a number of advantages to fitting RWH and grey water reuse systems. Benefits include the conservation of wholesome water supplies (used for cooking and drinking). It can be really useful if we have a hosepipe ban (like now) as rainwater is free, so for buildings where a water meter is fitted the annual cost of water will typically go down. Systems are available to suit all property types and it is naturally pure, soft (no dissolved minerals) and is sustainable.
So, to help alleviate the impact of CO2 emissions and to ensure the safety of our planet and our homes for many many more years, fitting environmental technologies is the way forward. It can not only help you to reduce your bills, but it will also help our climate and increase sustainability of our resources for future generations.