In the eighth of a series of blog posts regarding retrofitting homes to be more sustainable, PJH are looking at water saving measures. Beginning with an introduction and facts regarding water saving, pros and cons and associated costs.
Water Saving Measures Introduction
According to the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (2023) less than 3% of the total water on earth is freshwater, and around 1% is readily available and accessible to the population.
Rainwater or greywater harvesting for your dwelling can come in several different forms and is not just good for watering gardens. The collection and storage of rainwater and greywater can be used for a myriad of things around the house, with systems even being able to harvest rainwater for drinking should you wish to be more independent from the grid.
The Green Age (2023) refers to greywater as wastewater from baths, showers, washing machines, dishwashers and sinks and makes up between 50-80% of all wastewater from a household. Although not suitable for drinking, greywater can be reused after treatment for flushing toilets, washing clothes and watering your garden.
Some water saving measures can also be used to supply toilets, washing machines and any external use. This can reduce the average water bill of around 50%.
A number of different solutions are available for different houses and different budgets. With larger underground solutions to smaller above ground installations available to suit different needs and budgets.
Other water saving techniques that can be considered are things like low-flush toilets, low-flow aerated showerheads, avoiding specifying baths, installing spray or restricted flow aerated taps. These methods all aid in the reducing the carbon footprint and monthly running costs for a dwelling.
Pros and Cons of Water Saving MeasuresWater Saving Measures: Costs
The costs associated with installing a rainwater harvesting system can vary depending on the size of the system being installed and the intended end use. For the simple approach, a simple rainwater butt can come at a fairly low cost and used for general external tasks with Checkatrade (2023) stating that a low cost can be £75 with high costs of up to £750.
Retrofitting a larger, integrated system into your home inclusive of tank, filter, pump and pipes, control unit and connectors can cost in the region of £2,500 (not including roughly £3,000 installation costs) according to Checkatrade (2023). Installation underground is the best option for the larger systems but excavation works can become costly and require enough space to be installed.
To conclude, water saving measures can be easily retrofitted into a dwelling, depending on the desired end use and impact to a home. They can be used in a number of areas around the home and reduce monthly running costs whilst also making your homes carbon footprint smaller through reducing the amount of freshwater being wasted. The different setups suit a variety of different budgets and can benefit a variety of different homes with varying available surrounding space.
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