Brexit – what happens next?

As Brexit fast approaches, there are concerns about what happens next. Uncertainty is the only certainty at present – or is it?

In relation to Environmental Policy and decision making, the UK government released the draft Environmental (principals and governance) Bill in December 2018. It outlines the government’s commitment to maintain environmental principals after the UK leaves the EU.

Maybe it’s not all bad news then…

http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/…/uk-environment…

Government consults on Water Regulation reforms

In January 2019 the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a public consultation on proposed Water Regulation reforms for England.

The reforms aim to modernise water regulations and develop flexibility to future conditions. The reforms outline long term planning of water resources and drainage to improve outcomes of flood and drought occurrences. The full article from Lexology.com can be found here.

The Future of Water

The demand for water is rising by 2% every year. Water is widely regarded as an asset and becomes ‘waste’ once used.

Given the rapidly rising demand for water it is imperative that we strive to make our water usage more efficient and reuse waste water where possible.

‘Future of Water’ released in 2018 by Raconteur.net and published in The Sunday Times, is a collection of interesting articles which examine the conservation of water for the future through technology, efficiency and waste water reuse as well as other topics. A good read. Enjoy!

DISCHARGE LEGISLATION IS CHANGING – IS YOUR SYSTEM COMPLIANT?

The Environment Agency (EA) introduced new rules regarding the discharge of treated sewage by systems installed and in use on or after 1 January 2015.

If you have a septic tank you need to identify whether it discharges to a river or stream (surface water discharge) or whether it discharges to a drainage field, as after 1st January 2020 discharges to surface water from both old and new septic tanks will no longer be permitted by the EA.

If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to surface water you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020.

Where properties (domestic or commercial) with septic tanks that discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.

It is not uncommon for a septic tank or soakaway to be located on neighbouring land. If this is the case it is important to act quickly as the responsibility to upgrade lies with the owner of the septic tank, whether the soakaway is on their land or not. The upgrading process could raise issues between neighbours which could result in the process being slowed and the deadline potentially being missed.

If your system requires replacing or upgrading due to its discharge location, you have three possible options:

  • connect to mains sewer
  • install a drainage field so the septic tank can discharge to ground instead
  • replace your septic tank with a small sewage treatment plant

Only small sewage treatment plants can be permitted to discharge to a surface water such as a river or stream.  A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) treats the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream.

It is possible to apply for a permit for discharge to surface water from a septic tank, however these are only granted in exceptional circumstances. It is advisable to contact the EA before applying.

Discharging to ground:

Discharge from septic tanks and sewage treatment system can be made to ground via drainage fields.

Discharge to a soakaway borehole can only be made from a sewage treatment system and must be permitted by the EA. Permits must be applied for in the following circumstances:

if you discharge:

  • to a well, borehole or other deep structure
  • more than 2 cubic metres (2,000 litres) per day

If any part of the building your system serves is within 30 metres of a public sewer, the EA will not allow you to start a new discharge. If there is a good reason why you cannot connect to the sewer (e.g. a river or a hill in the way) then you must apply for a permit from the EA.

Environment Agency contact details:

Tel: 03708 506 506

Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
Rotherham
S60 1BY

Simple steps to save water

During this prolonged dry spell, advice is coming thick and fast from the Environment Agency and Water Companies on how we can all do our bit to preserve water.

Advice includes:

  • Take showers not baths, and make sure they are short!
  • Don’t wash the car with a hose or pressure washer – maybe leave it a couple of weeks between washes too.
  • Turn off the tap when you wash your hands or brush your teeth – simple and easy to do.
  • Make sure the washing machine/dishwasher is full before turning it on and try to use the ECO setting. Half load settings tend to use more than half the water or energy of a full load setting, meaning you are not saving as much as you think.
  • Don’t use the hose pipe to water the garden or lawn. Instead the advice is to use the water left over from other activities such as washing vegetables, or to utilise the water from your paddling pool once the fun is done.
  • Only fill the kettle to the level you require. If you only want to make a single cuppa, don’t fill it! It costs you more in water and electricity to boil a full kettle!

Further advice on how to save water has been provided by The Eden Project and WaterWise.  Your own water supply company will have tips available on their website.

 

 

 

 

Heat Waves & Water Shortages – how to avoid the drought.

 

With temperatures set to remain at least in the mid 20’s for the next month, there is talk of hosepipe bans and plenty of advice coming from the water companies about how to reduce your water consumption.

Uncertainly is evident as some water companies are saying that currently ground water levels are ‘robust’ due to to high amounts of rain experienced at the start of the year and through Spring, while others are showing signs of concern and have issued advice regarding the use of hosepipes for watering the garden, suggesting that rainwater be used instead.

(Incidentally, we don’t usually recommend rainwater harvesting – when it rains, you don’t need it and when there is a prolonged dry spell, there is no rain to replenish what you have used.)

The Environment Agency stated in June that 320 water ways were below normal levels and dropping, while 1000 were at or above normal levels, but dropping. The drying up of streams and rivers is usually a good indication of potential water shortages.

Water companies have advised people to use wisely, especially with no immediate sign of substantial rainfall over the next month. Affinity Water particularly have warned of water shortages in their area.

A solution for those living on the large chalk aquifer underlying the South East would be an independent water supply borehole. Imagine being able to sustain your beautiful garden throughout the summer even through a hosepipe ban – a luscious thought.

As experts in the construction of water supply boreholes in the South East, we may be able to help you save your garden. Give us a call for an informal chat.

Make your dreams a reality at the National Self Build and Renovation Show

This weekend H.D. Services Ltd will be in attendance at the National Self Build and Renovation Show being held at the National Self Build and Renovation Center in Swindon.

The NSBRC is a unique environment where prospective self-builders and renovators can find information from financing to finishes and from planning to piling. The expertise available at the center makes this the perfect venue to help you kick start your building project.

The show itself includes guided tours of some of the permanent exhibits including the Renovation House; Live product and building demonstrations; Soapbox talks where a select few exhibitors get the opportunity to speak directly to you and explain who they are, what they do and why you should consider them for your project; Question Time and Seminars.

H.D. Services will be showcasing their expertise in Sewage Treatment Systems, Renewable Heating Options, Water Supply and Drainage, in the Sovereign Theater at 12.30. We also have a table in the Professional Services Hub where you can make appointments to speak with us directly about your project.

We look forward to meeting you there.

Introducing your Highly Commended RHI and Small Project Installer

We are proud to announce that we were Highly Commended at the East of England Energy Efficiency Awards held in Stanstead last week.

We achieved success in the categories of RHI Installer of the Year and Small Scale Project of the Year 2018.

For us as installers of a niche technology, we are ecstatic to receive such recognition and hope that our continued success helps to raise awareness of this underrated technology type.

A big thanks needs to go to our hard working installation manager and heat pump engineer. Well Done!

Finalists at the regional Energy Efficiency Awards 2018

H.D. Services Ltd. are proud to announce that we are finalists in the East of England Energy Efficiency Awards!

We have entered 2 categories – RHI installer of the year and Small Scale Project of the Year. The awards are held on the 2nd May 2018 in Stansted

It is testament to our hard working installation team that we have achieved the short list – well done!

Watch this space for an update…..!

 

Come and Meet us

H.D. Services now have a permanent stand at the National Self Build and Renovation Center in Swindon.

Having taken possession of our permanent exhibition board this will be our first time at the show. We will be presenting our services to attendees on Friday 11th May – 12.30 in the Sovereign Theatre.  

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and discuss projects with our Director on the day.

Tickets are free and available fromthe NSBRC website. See you there!