UK; Water Reuse Systems: Guidance and Advice - Essex & Suffolk

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UK; Water Reuse Systems: Guidance and Advice - Essex & Suffolk
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  Water reusesystems Guidance and advice www.eswater.co.uk  Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3What do we mean by water reuse?..................................................................................... 3 Rainwater harvesting ...................................................................................................... 3   What is meant by rainwater harvesting?.............................................................................. 3 Greywater ......................................................................................................................... 3How is greywater different?.................................................................................................. 3 Standards and regulations .............................................................................................. 3 Are there any standards? .................................................................................................... 3What regulations apply?....................................................................................................... 4 Notification to Essex & Suffolk Water ............................................................................. 4Do I need to tell Essex & Suffolk Water about my installation?............................................... 4Why? .................................................................................................................................. 4 System designs ................................................................................................................ 4Direct systems .................................................................................................................... 4Indirect systems ................................................................................................................. 4 Back-up water supply  ..................................................................................................... 5What happens when there’s no rain?................................................................................... 5What would happen if there was no mains water back-up supply?...................................... 5 Backflow protection ........................................................................................................ 5What sort of risk is rainwater and greywater?....................................................................... 5What backflow protection is required for the mains water back-up supply?.......................... 5Examples of backflow protection ......................................................................................... 6Dead legs ............................................................................................................................ 8 Wholesite protection ....................................................................................................... 8Do I need additional protection? ......................................................................................... 8What is wholesite protection? ............................................................................................. 8 Pipework ........................................................................................................................... 8Do I need special pipework? ............................................................................................... 8Belowground pipework - what should I use? ...................................................................... 8 Aboveground pipework - what should I use? ...................................................................... 9 Labelling and marking ..................................................................................................... 9Why do I need labels? ......................................................................................................... 9Colour coding pipework ...................................................................................................... 9Why must you colour code all water reuse pipework?.......................................................... 9 The following methods are recommended........................................................................... 9Commercial/industrial pipes................................................................................................. 9Domestic pipes.................................................................................................................... 9Labelling ............................................................................................................................. 9Examples of labels .............................................................................................................. 10Examples of installation ....................................................................................................... 10 Maintenance ..................................................................................................................... 11 Summary  .......................................................................................................................... 11 Contact details ................................................................................................................ 11  Water reuse systems -a brief guide Introduction Essex & Suffolk Water supports the use of waterreuse systems and encourages all our customers tobe waterwise. Recently we have become aware of anumber of examples where water reuse systems,particularly rainwater harvesting units, have beenincorrectly installed or maintained leading to seriouspublic health risks at the properties involved.Legally, water reuse systems must be designed andinstalled to ensure there is no risk to the end user andin particular must not be directly connected in anyway to the mains drinking water supply. The followinginformation describes the key areas which must beadhered to and areas for consideration for anyonedesigning installing and using these systems. What do we mean by water reuse? Water reuse is the new term used for what we usedto know as water recycling or reclaimed water. Thepurpose of these systems is to provide an alternativesource of water that can be used, in place of drinkingwater, for appliances that do not need such highquality water. This helps to reduce the reliance onpublic mains water. The most common systems usedin the UK are rainwater harvesting and greywatertreatment.With the growing number of eco homes being builtacross the Essex and Suffolk region during recentyears, this has seen an increase in the use of thesetechnologies. Couple this with the tightening of thebuilding regulations, this trend will only increase asnew house designs are incorporating these waterreuse systems in a bid to ensure that planningpermission is granted.Whilst these systems do not need specialist installers,our experience is that there is relative lack of experience and awareness by most plumbers.Combine this with the nature of the source of the rawwater used, the potential for harm will only increase,should these systems not be correctly installed. Rainwater harvesting What is meant by rainwater harvesting? In simple terms, it means diverting the rainwater thatfalls on roofs, or other collection surfaces, of aproperty to store it usually in an underground tank forlater reuse. The captured rainwater is then pumped toflush toilets, to outside taps for garden use and insome cases it can be used for the washing machinewith a little additional treatment.Collecting rainwater will contain traces of atmosphericand environmental pollutants, and is likely to containsome animal and bird faecal matter. The extent of such contamination will vary from site to site butsome degree of contamination must always beassumed and this needs to be catered for in thedesign of the system. Greywater How is greywater different? Greywater is the waste water from our kitchen sinks,washing machines, sinks, showers and baths but notfrom toilets; this is known as blackwater.It is less polluted greywater from baths, showers andsinks, which is normally collected and treated readyfor reuse. This is known as bathroom greywater butthe greywater from washing machines may also beused if greater volumes of water are needed. Standards and regulations  Are there any standards?  Yes, British Standards has published two standards,BS8515:2009 for rainwater harvesting systems andBS8525-1:2010 for greywater systems. Theserecently published standards cover the design,installation and maintenance requirements for thesewater reuse systems and include water qualityrequirements for the end user. These are some of thefirst formal national standards in Europe, althoughstandardisation throughout Europe is in progressthrough the European and international standardscommitee (CEN and ISO). It will be some years beforethey are published. 3  What regulations apply? In addition to the British Standards there arerequirements in the Water Supply (Water Fittings)Regulations 1999 that apply to systems where waterfrom the public mains is used. The purpose is toprotect public health not only for current users but forusers in the future. Notification toEssex & Suffolk Water Do I need to tell Essex & Suffolk Waterabout my installation? Under the Water Fittings Regulations, if a customerproposes to install a water reuse system thatincorporates a back-up supply from the public mains,they must notify Essex & Suffolk Water underRegulation five of the Water Fittings Regulations. Allwater reuse systems will be inspected recorded andregistered by Essex & Suffolk Water. Why? Because Essex & Suffolk Water has a duty to ensurethese regulations are complied with, thereforeensuring public health is protected, Essex & Suffolk Water must be satisfied that these new types of highrisk domestic systems cannot contaminate our mainsnetwork supply. The minimum information required isa plan of the site, a schematic diagram of theplumbing layout and details of what is proposed.If you are building a new property, this informationshould be submitted at the time of making yourapplication for a new connection to our waternetwork. If you are installing water reuse equipmentto an existing property, please submit yourinformation to the water regulations team at theaddress on the final page of this guide. System designs In general, there are two basic types that a waterreuse system uses to distribute water to the end useappliances, direct and indirect, and they apply equallyto both rainwater and greywater systems. Both of these systems have their merits and drawbacks. Direct systems  This is where water is pumped directly from storagesuch as the underground tank direct to the points of use for example, toilets and outside taps.In the event of a failure in any of the sensors, pumps,controls or an electricity failure (power cut) the wholesystem will not operate as electricity is needed tooperate them. Even a mains water back-up would beof no help, as this normally fills either into a low levelstorage tank or greywater treatment system andneeds further pumping. Therefore all appliancesconnected for example, toilets, outside taps, etcwould not work; this is the direct system’s Achillesheel. On the positive side it can take up less space ina property as there is no need for any extra plumbingsuch as high level cisterns etc. Indirect systems  This is where the stored water is pumped to anintermediate cistern at high level, for example in theroof space, from where it can feed by gravity to thepoints of use. This type of system can be made to seamlesslychange over in a no electricity situation, owing to themains water back-up supply being fed directly intothe high level cistern. To make this work it is essentialto ensure the electronically operated solenoid valveon the mains water back-up is of a type that will openin a no electric situation or, that a manual valve isinstalled so it can be easily accessed to turn the inletball valve on. 4
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