As recently reported by the BBC, we’re seeing the longest ongoing dry period since 1936. In the first three months of the year, England’s rainfall was down 26% and in Wales it was down 22%. As a result, the National Drought Group moved England into “Prolonged Dry Weather” status – the stage before a drought – at an emergency meeting. At the time of writing, water authorities have leapt into action with imminent hosepipe bans announced in Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.
But what does this mean in everyday life? Well, the following activities are banned:
- Watering a garden using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
- Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
- Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
- Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
- Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe.
In a worsening drought situation, the next step is to restrict non-essential use through non-essential use bans. These apply to households and commercial customers/businesses. Drought orders to bring this ban into effect are granted by the Environment Secretary. Users must be able to show that they have taken all necessary steps to save water and protect the environment, i.e., recycling, before being given indemnity.
Activities that would usually be restricted are as follows:
- Watering outdoor plants at a commercial premises such as a garden centre, fruit/veg growers, and producers
- Filling or maintaining a non-domestic paddling pool or swimming pool
- Filling or maintaining a pond
- Operating any mechanical vehicle wash
- Cleaning any vehicle, boat, aircraft or rolling stock /train.
- Cleaning any commercial premises
- Cleaning windows
- Cleaning industrial equipment (plant)
- Suppressing dust
Should the Drought order be enforced, that’s when the situation transforms dramatically. Industries that are likely to be severely affected are:
- Car and Commercial Washes
- Food and Beverage production
Kirton offers a range of water recycling systems which will enable businesses to reuse water and continue to run during any drought order.
How do I invest for the future?
A longer-term solution which people often overlook is Rainwater Harvesting. We’re all sometimes guilty of complaining about the weather, particularly as the seasons change and rainfall invariably increases. There is however a positive upside to this occasional abundance of water… it’s free! We must recognise that this sustainable resource is readily accessible for onward integration into endless applications. Not making use of this asset represents a vast squandering of the potential savings which are available to operators and industries throughout the country who don’t always need mains quality water.
Take Agri-Food for example, a typical large broiler farm can consume millions of litres of water. Our rainwater equipment seamlessly provides sites with an automatic, multi-use water supply, subsequently reducing the farm’s dependency on the local mains water network, or costly and variable quality boreholes.
Pictured is the first of 2 recent RWH plants designed and manufactured for our industry partner. In this instance we’re collecting and treating the roof water fall to provide consistent, stable drinking water for high welfare poultry houses.
The systems can be tailored to fit a wide variety of industries and applications.
Get in touch to discuss how we can help you prepare and continue operating during this potentially challenging period.
01509 504 565