94   Water: supply, conservation, pollution

Whilst THE WASTEBOOK is predominantly about solid wastes, there are obvious intimate links between reducing water wasted, waste disposal, water quality and water pollution problems. Pollution of water is a constant threat.  It is the task of the Environment Agency to protect our waters by promoting pollution prevention and being efficient in responding to reports of poor conditions or emergencies. But theirs is not an easy task: we can all play our part by not wasting water, and not contributing to pollution.  If you see evidence of pollution please call the emergency number on 0800 807060.

Nationally, 3.6 billion litres of clean, drinkable water are lost every day through water company pipes.  This is enough to supply 100,000 households for a day - or for every family in the land to flush their toilet 20 times a day.  But the water companies are working to improve this, and so should we.  Visitors to this site who are not on water meters can help by switching to a meter.  Only one quarter of domestic customers have water meters.  

Industry is the biggest water user.  The largest use is for electricity supply - 19 million litres a day are used for cooling towers.  16.4 million litres are used by individual consumers.  All other users together (including cress growers, who take water directly from rivers) use 7 million litres a day, so total business use is 26 million litres.  (statistics from BBC Radio 4, You & Yours, 15 July 2005)

The biggest water users are the brewing and food industries, who spend 8% of their turnover on water.  The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are next, with 5.2%.  (from IWEX International Water and Effluent Exhibition report, NEC, Birmingham, Oct)

There are 3000 golf courses in the UK - half have irrigation systems.  These mainly draw water from rivers under licence.  In severe drought this may be restricted.  Some think too much water is provided for this sector - golfers like courses "lush and verdant", but watering a whole golf course in dry weather uses enough water in a day to supply 1000 households.

Businesses are not generally subject to water restrictions like hosepipe and sprinkler users - 86% of businesses are metered, and pay as they use.  Businesses should look at their operations to see where they can recycle water, and seek opportunities to reduce water use through adjusting procedures or technology.

We list companies which can help with water conservation.  Your water company will also give you advice.

Some useful information on water and pollution can be found at the Environmental Information Exchange, www.brookes.ac.uk/eie/qwaterpoll.htm 

If you use Brita Water Filters, don't bin them when you're finished, recycle them by collecting 6 and sending them to: Brita Water Filter Systems, FREEPOST, TK1917, Sunbury On Thames, Middx TW16 5BR

If your company washes vehicles outside, consider creating a designated wash area that is sloped to drain to the foul sewer.

Consider installing meters to monitor, against targets, the amount of water supplied to different parts of your company’s site, so that you can detect trends in supply and to assist leakage detection if necessary.

Try to minimise the quantity of water used and ensure you are not paying for unnecessary water heating. Reduced flow, spray taps and timed flow taps can be used for some purposes, but check with manufacturers of water saving devices that a high level of hygiene can be maintained. Consider fitting hoses with automatic cut-off valves. It is also advisable to ensure all pipework and fittings are properly insulated and maintained.

Alphabetical list of organisations

Aquavert Ltd

Tel 01623 812694 Fax 01623 812697
Pleasley Vale Business Park, MANSFIELD, Nottinghamshire NG19 8RL

Manufactures the Aquaverter valve, a push-fit valve which is designed to divert water from baths, showers, etc for storage or re-use, for example in the garden or for use in flushing toilets. Flush Saver now also available which takes used water from the bath, hand basin, etc to a header tank, where it is then used to flush the toilet.

Barr & Wray Ltd

Tel 01403 733542 Fax1 812 3690
324 Drumoyne Road, Glasgow G514 DY '

Triogen' low and medium pressure UV systems for treatment of: potable and ultra high purity water; rinse and wash waters; ozone removal; process water for food, soft drinks, brewing and distilling industries; effluent streams; advanced oxidation in conjunction with ozone.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Tel 01793 442516  Fax 01793 442528
Website www.ceh-nerc.ac.uk  Email director@ceh.ac.uk 
CEH Swindon, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, SWINDON, Wilts SN2 1EU

Centre of excellence for research in land and freshwater environmental sciences.  Specialist skills in wide range of environmental disciplines, ranging from smallest scale (the gene) to largest (whole Earth systems).  Research aims to improve understanding of the environment and the natural processes that underlie the Earth's support systems, eg climate & water resources.  Interested particularly in impacts of human activity on natural environments. Aims to generate workable solutions to pressing environmental problems.  Environmental Information Centre is a major custodian of UK environmental data, including national water archive, biological records centre, landcover map, environmental change network, countryside survey and butterfly monitoring.  Specialist products and services, modelling, statistics, publications for sale.  For many software products, much reduced charges for educational and non-commercial research.  Parent organisation: UK Natural Environment Research Council.  Swindon office houses Administration, Personnel, Finance, Estate Management.  Premises in Lancaster, Wales and Scotland.  Research facilities in south:
CEH Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2LS.  Tel 01487 772400  Email monkswood@ceh.ac.uk  
Biological Records Centre, Earth Observation, Ecological Risk, Ecological Processes & Modelling

CEH Wallingford, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8BB.  Tel 01491 838800  Email wallingford@ceh.ac.uk
Process hydrology, Water quality, Hydrological risks & resources 
CEH Dorset, Winfrith Technology Centre, Winfrith Newburgh, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8ZD.  Tel 01305 213500   Email dorset@ceh.ac.uk 
Population & Conservation Ecology, River Ecology
(Updated Nov 2005)

Chartered Institution of Water
& Environmental Management
Tel 0207 831 3110 Fax 0207 405 4967
15 John Street, LONDON WC1 2EB

Professional body for advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management. Bi-monthly journal, yearbook and various publications available.

Chiltern Water Management Services

Tel 01494 712831
1 Inkerman Drive, Hazelmere, HIGH WYCOMBE, Bucks HP15 7JJ

Water analysis, disinfection, tank renovation, Legionella risk assessment, supply of softeners, filters and water treatment chemicals. Services provided throughout the South East, Midlands and London

Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA)
Tel 0207 549 3300  Fax 0207 253 0523
Website www.ciria.org   Email enquiries@ciria.org
Classic House, 174-180 Old Street, LONDON EC1V 9BP

Broker of construction research and innovation.  Various publications and events relating to water supply and sustainability, sewerage, flooding and drainage, control of water pollution from construction sites, coastal and marine environmental site guide.  With BRE and BSRIA, oversees the Construction Industry Environment Forum, providing information exchange on environmental issues affecting the industry.  Developing Green Guide for professional tradespeople and small businesses to reduce the building industry's environmental impact.  CIRIA aims to improve performance of all in water industries - runs workshops and seminars; literature encourages best practice.  Several subsidiary websites include SUDS and flooding.  (Updated July 2004)

CPL Carbons Ltd
Tel 01246 221221 Fax 01246 222000
PO Box 23, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, CHESTERFIELD, Derbys S42 6YX

Expertise in activated carbon filtration of organic contaminants from air, water and process streams. Technical advisory service including laboratory testing; plant design and installation. Activated carbon adsorption is a technology particularly appropriate for removal and recycling if desired of problem substances such as organic pesticides and herbicides from water supplies, or odorous and volatile organic compounds from atmospheric emissions.

Cranfield University

Tel 01234 754056 Direct Line (24 hr ansaphone) Fax 01234 751671 E-mail c.temple@cranfield.ac.uk
Cranfield Water - Cranfield University, Clive Temple, Marketing Manager, Cranfield BEDFORD MK43 0AL

'Cranfield Water' is the University's umbrella organisation, serving as an interface between Cranfield University and the international water and environment sector. It offers the market place an integrated approach, providing training and research services. Specialist areas include: water and effluent treatment, water recycling and reuse, soil and water engineering, irrigation management, water environment management, energy management.


Tel 01234 217552
Gold Lane, Biddenham, BEDFORD MK40 4AN

Supply and installation of reverse osmosis purifiers, softeners, filters and descalers.

Duston Drainage & Plumbing

Tel 01604 38178 / 754127
6 Ryehill Court, Lodge Way, Harlestone Road NORTHAMPTON NN5 7EU

Liquid waste disposal - cesspools, septic tanks, gulley cleaning, pressure jetting. Local depots at Bedford (01234 713346); Luton (01582 417554); Leighton Buzzard, Beds (01525 854545).

Elemental Solutions

Tel 01594 516063 Fax 01594 516821
Oaklands Park, NEWNHAM, Glos GL14 1EF

Consultancy, design and commissioning of aquatic plant treatment systems for domestic and industrial effluents and liquors. Expertise also in roofwater collection, waste minimisation, dry and low water use toilets.

Essex & Suffolk Water Co

Tel 01245 491234 Fax 01245 212345
Hall Street, CHELMSFORD, Essex CM2 0HH

Local water supply company serving parts of Essex and Suffolk.

Expertise Ltd
Tel  01629 826482  Fax 01629 826482  Mobile 07940 548050
Email Sean.Moran@expertise-limited.co.uk  
Website www.expertise-limited.co.uk

Design of pure and potable water, groundwater and sewage, effluent and sludge treatment plant.  Consultancy on process and hydraulic design.  Seven years experience with major contracting organisations.  ISO 9000 series auditor and quality manual author.  Envirowise panel member, selected by government under the Envirowise Programme to offer advice and training services to small and medium enterprises on health, safety and environmental auditing and waste minimisation, including breakdown of raw materials,  packaging, waste, recovery and recycling opportunities and potential savings.  This includes reviewing water use and toilets, energy, heating, lighting and fuel, computing, refrigeration, compressors, and emissions.  Also expert witness service, and technical and legal translations French-English and vice versa.  (Updated July 2004)

Filter Logic

Tel 01234 767906
64 Kelley Lane, Wootton, BEDFORD MK43 9HS

Domestic, commercial and industrial waste filtration systems.

Global Action Plan UK

Tel 0207 405 5633  Fax 0207 831 6244  
Website www.globalactionplan.org.uk  Email
8 Fulwood Place, Gray's Inn, LONDON WC1V 6HG

Independent environmental charity established in 1993, operating in 11 countries.  Promotes environmental change, in particular waste, energy and reduction in water use, by encouraging individuals to take effective practical action in their homes, workplaces, schools and communities, eg runs 'Action at Home' scheme, which encourages a family to work together to set targets and improve their environmental performance.  Has developed a range of programmes, tools and advice to make it a little easier.  We all make many choices daily, often without thinking about it - whether to drive or walk to the shops, to buy a free range or cheap factory-farmed egg; whether we can be bothered to switch off the TV at the plug each night; all these decisions add up.  Website offers practical advice on waste (is it really?) energy, transport, water, food and shopping.  Online surveys to measure your carbon emissions at home or work, and how green your household is, plus tips to reduce your impact on climate change.  Breaks down the contents of your bin, and gives advice on how to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Long list of businesses on website which have worked with Global Action Plan to develop environmental and social initiatives, saving money and resources - and a list of good reasons to enter into such a partnership!  Supported by the EC, and in the UK by government, local authorities, companies, charitable trusts and WWF.   (Updated May 2005) 

Hippo Water Saver
Tel 01432 860041 / 01989 766667  Fax 01989 763473
Website www.hippo-the-watersaver.co.uk  Email paul@hippo-the-watersaver.co.uk 
P.O Box 110, ROSS-ON-WYE, Hereford HR9 5YY

Simple, proven, low-cost way to save 3 litres of water per flush in toilet cisterns.  For those on a metered supply, this saves about 20 a year.  Hippo is made from durable heavy gauge Polyethylene, which opens up origami style into an open ended box shape when in the cistern.  It sits in the water and when the toilet is flushed, the water within the Hippo is the volume saved.   A small hole acts as a relief valve, allowing slow circulation of water to prevent stagnation and evaporation. Bought and distributed free by most water companies.  Or 5.99 for 3 (post free).  Cheaper in bulk - see website.  Easy to put in - photo instruction on website.  Independent research shows it provides 10-15% saving on total water use.  Saves more in older cisterns, but still effective in smaller, modern ones.  One third of your water supply is unnecessarily flushed down the toilet.  In the workplace each employee uses the toilet about 3 times each day, 6000 litres (6 cubic metres) of water in a working year, about 9.36 per employee.  (Updated Feb 2005)

In Touch Systems Ltd

Tel 01869 232244
36 Heyford Park, Camp Road, Upper Heyford, BICESTER, Oxon

Water conservation and management.

OFWAT (Office of Water Services)

Website www.ofwat.gov.uk  Email
Tel 0121 625 1300 / 1373  Fax 0121 625 1400
Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, BIRMINGHAM, West Mids B5 4UA
Contacts listed on website

Responsible for monitoring activities of companies appointed as water and sewerage undertakers, including charges and standards for services; encouraging economy and efficiency in the supply industry; adjudicating in certain disputes between companies and their customers.  Vision: a water industry that delivers a world-class service, representing best value to customers now and in the future.  Mission:  to regulate in a way that provides incentives and encourages the companies to achieve a world-class service in terms of quality and value for customers in England and Wales.  Website incorporates WaterVoice - aim: to be an effective and influential voice for water and sewerage customers in England and Wales, promoting their interests in respect of price, service and value for money.  Email enquiries@watervoice.org.uk   Phone and contact details for 10 regions on website.   For monitoring of water resources and flooding see Environment Agency(Updated May 2005)


Tel 01202 625656
44 Holton Road, Holton Heath, POOLE, Dorset BH16 6LT

Industrial waste water treatment and sewage purification; plant design, fabrication, building, installation, commissioning and upgrading; potable water treatment, pilot studies and site investigation; performance monitoring.


Tel 01763 853666
67 High Street, Guilden Morden, ROYSTON, Herts SG8 0JR

Potable water treatment specialist. Treatment systems for problem boreholes and wells; softeners; purifiers; filters; UV treatment plant.

Techniflo Services Ltd

Tel 01376 562888 Fax 01376 561484
Unit 29, Priors Way, Coggeshall Industrial Park, COLCHESTER, Essex CO6 1TW

Industrial and commercial water processing plant and control systems. Filtration, ion exchange and reverse osmosis. Specialist in food, beverage, medical and laundry industries.

Tendring Hundred Water Services Ltd

Tel 01206 399200 Fax 01206 399210
Mill Hill, MANNINGTREE, Essex CO11 2AZ

Local water supply company serving the Tendring district of Essex.

Thames Water Consultancy Services

Tel 0118 975 3475 Fax 0118 931 3536
Gainsborough House, Manor Farm Road, NEWBURY, Berks RG20 0JN

Thames Water subsidiary. Design and delivery of water related projects.

Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Tel 0118 9236 223 800 Fax 0118 959 3203
Nugent House, Vastern Road, READING, Berks RG1 8DB

Major water supply and sewage treatment/disposal company serving most of the North Thames Region

Three Valleys Water Services plc

Tel 01707 268111 Fax 01707 268970
PO Box 48, Bishops Rise, HATFIELD, Herts AL10 9HL

Major water supply company serving large parts of Beds, Herts and Essex.

Trailigaz Technologies and Oxidation

Tel 0208 944 2090 Fax 0208 947 2706
53 St Georges Road, Wimbledon, LONDON SW19 4EA

British subsidiary of Compagnie Generale des Eaux, providing ozone based water purification systems since 1897.

Water Scientific Ltd

Tel 0118 945 3078 Fax 0118 942 8897
56 Hildens Drive, READING, Berks RG30 4LP

Small consultancy in water supply and waste water treatment.

Water Services Association

Tel 0207 957 4567
1 Queen Anne’s Gate, LONDON SW1H 9BT

Trade association for the major water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. Produces variety of public information leaflets, including ‘The Water Friendly Garden’