What can you do to help?
RainScape your home
There are a number of ways that you can help us to reduce the amount of surface water that gets into our sewer network:
To help reduce the volume of surface water to our sewers, and reduce the water consumption of your home, water butts can collect water from rainfall and from your downpipes. This water can then be used for watering gardens, helping to reduce the amount of treated water that you use.
More advanced systems are now available which can be installed for re-using water to flush toilets. If you are considering using rainwater to flush your toilet consult with a WaterSafe registered plumber to avoid cross connection of the ‘grey’ rainwater into your clean water supply.
You can search for a local approved plumber on the WaterSafe website here.
By disconnecting your downpipe from the sewer network and redirecting it into a raingarden, you can provide an area to slow down the surface water and let it run into the ground. Raingardens can not only create an attractive feature in your garden but also create a home for insects and small animals.
RainScape your drive:
The recent changes to planning consents mean that if you are going to lay a new driveway to the front of your house you must either direct surface water runoff to a porous or permeable area of your land, or use permeable or porous materials. Permeable paving is designed to allow rainfall to infiltrate through the surface and comes in a variety of interesting designs and colours.
Or, instead of covering the whole area of your drive, you could consider only paving the area for tyre tracks, or adding flower beds or rain gardens into the design.
You can also install green roofs, which also help to reduce the amount of surface water that gets into our system. Green roofs come in a variety of plant types from those that require very little landscape management to wildflower grasses, where habitats and food for insects is provided by the flowers in the mix. Green roofs can also extend the life of your roof and provide additional insulation; as well as providing a habitat for wildlife.
Green roofs do add additional weight to a property so they need to be considered early on in the design process for a new build. This is not to say that they can’t be retrofitted on to existing properties – just make sure you ask for expert advice first.
As well as this, there are a number of ways that you can become more efficient with your water in your house too. This helps reduce the volume of foul water the sewer system receives, as well as reducing the volume of water extracted from the environment to facilitate clean water demands.
For more details on this visit our water efficiency page.
Links to downloads and more information: