Grey Water

Systems for collecting, filtering and re-using waste water.
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Grey Water and sustainable drainage:

Management of water resources is becoming a key issue -much of the rain that falls on urban areas is subject to immediate run off on hard surfaces and is rapidly discharged into the sea via the drainage system. Homeowners can do a lot to alleviate this by utilising Grey Water collected from roofs and also by ensuring that paving materials allow water to percolate into the ground.

Paving materials to avoid include solid concrete and tarmacadam -far better to use sand bedded paving blocks on a compacted hardcore base which will allow water to percolate through; simialarly gravel beds, chippings and other loose finishes will achieve the same end.

Sustainable Drainage Systems, otherwise known as SUDS, attempt to deal with the rapid runoff of rainwater by provision of holding ponds, filter strips, swales and soakaways within landscape design.

Water from the roof can be captured for re-use -all you need is a diverter on rainwater pipes leading off to storage barrels.

Filtration of impure water is achieved by use of Reed Bed Systems.

  • CIRIA -articles and code of practice for SUDS -sustainable drainage systems -mthods for ensuring groundwater run off is dealt with in a sustainable way.
  • Edincare -makers of WaterGuard, a fully automatic rainwater harvesting system used for the collection and supply of rainwater within both domestic and commercial applications.
  • Free Rain -leading UK designers, manufacturers and suppliers of rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Rainharvesting Systems -part of The Green Shop -suppliers of rainwater harvesting equipment.
  • Rainwater Harvesting -good summary article on rainwater harvesting from the Environment Agency.
  • Robert Bray Associates -specialists in Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS), the environmentally friendly way of dealing with surface water runoff which avoids the problems associated with conventional drainage practice.
  • Save the Rain -lobby group which is campaigning for the Government to amend the Building Regulations to incoporate rainwater harvesting into every new home.
  • Suffolk Barrel -handmade barrels and water butts
  • Wessex Water -article on the water saving garden.


  • See also Wetlands for information about using reed beds as part of a water management system.

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