Frost is the greatest threat to water services throughout the winter. UK Water Regulations require any fitting or apparatus to be correctly insulated to prevent frost, unless in a location that is heated for more than 12 hours a day . It seems obvious when you are scraping the ice from the car on a frosty morning. However, the insurance claims show that many homeowners, landlords and occupiers seem to be unaware of this requirement.
In the worst-case scenario, the replacement of water supply pipes is required. Traditionally this has required major excavations outside a property and usually a great deal of disruption and trauma within, over several days and possibly weeks – inevitably at high cost.
If our water usage patterns don’t change, the UK will have an ongoing water deficit of 4,000 Megalitres per day by 2050. Reductions in leakage and domestic consumption are the two primary strands of water conservation targeted by Defra and the water companies.
Some areas of England are already restricting future development unless ‘water neutrality’ can be demonstrated. This requires both existing and new properties to reduce per capita consumption (PCC) to the extent that overall water usage levels do not increase.
Don’t let drinking water harm your tenants
Awareness of the potential health problems caused by lead in the water supply, particularly in infants and children is growing. Houses built before 1970 would have been constructed with lead water supply pipes and if still in place can be causing developmental harm to young occupants.
Although the use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 50 years, there are still many properties where a risk of lead contamination of water is a risk. In some areas of the UK up to a third of these older properties are still receiving their water through these original lead pipes.
In the UK water conservation has been almost treated with derision. Excepting the summer of 1976, water restrictions are limited to occasional hose pipe bans. However, the wider impact of excessive water usage is now becoming recognised.
The connections between water, the environment and energy costs are being highlighted by organisations as diverse as the United Nations through to local conservation groups.
In the UK water conservation has been on the agenda, and largely dismissed by the public, for years. Our growing population and increased demand through lifestyle choices, will result in critical water situations more regularly, especially in the driest parts of the country.
Minimising the environmental impact of homes at both the construction and occupation have recently become key issues. Groundbreaker Systems have been working on ‘green’ solutions for over 20 years.
Awareness of the potential health problems caused by lead in the water supply, particularly in infants and children is growing. Houses built before 1970 would have been constructed with lead water supply pipes and if still in place can be causing developmental harm to young tenants.
As our climate changes, our population increases and our lifestyles become more leisure orientated, there is an ever-increasing demand for water.