Surface Water Drainage and Climate Change – Facts & How you Can Help

Climate change: We’re so used to hearing this phrase that some of us have become complacent about the whole topic but, unless you’ve been living on an entirely different planet, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report won’t have passed you by. The IPCC is the UN’s group of scientists who work to assess the effects of environmental changes. Their findings are endorsed by the world’s governments.

What’s in the Report?

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation, said: “By using sports terms, one could say the atmosphere has been exposed to doping, which means we have begun observing extremes more often than before.”
“We will see even more intense and more frequent heatwaves,” said Dr Friederike Otto, from the University of Oxford, UK, and one of the IPCC report’s authors.
“And we will also see an increase in heavy rainfall events on a global scale, and also increases in some types of droughts in some regions of the world.”
The top and bottom of all this incredibly worrying information is that it’s no longer a good idea to make changes, it’s now imperative.
What has all this got to do with surface water drainage? The fact is, it’s one of the things that’s going to become an increasing problem over the next few years due to the massive increase in rainfall. But there are things you can do to make a difference.

Surface water drainage – What is it?

Surface water drainage happens when rainwater falls on your property and drains away. Most of this water drains into sewers. In England and Wales these sewers are owned by ten water and sewerage companies. These companies have to both remove and process the water.

Why Does that Affect Climate Change?

Processing drained surface water that flows into public sewers from your property is energy-heavy. Energy produces carbon emissions. Part of the plan to slow climate change involves reducing carbon emissions that damage and warm the atmosphere. If rainwater drains from your property into a pubic sewer, you’ll also be charged for it.

You will pay for surface water drainage in your bill in one of three ways:

  • a fee in the standing charge
  • a charge based on the rateable value of your property
  • through a charge related to the type of property you live in

Solutions to Help You and the Environment

If you can prove that any surface water from your property does not drain into a public sewer you may be entitled to an exemption from any future surface water charges. There is also the possibility of being able to claim a refund for any charges you have incurred in the past. A soakaway is one solution… and so is collecting rainwater that falls on your property.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting has been around for a long time now. People have used rainwater butts to collect rain and use it for irrigation for years. But technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent times. It’s now possible to harvest rainwater, store it in tanks and have it piped into your house if necessary.
This water can be used for both potable (drinking) and non-potable purposes. Non-potable water is typically used for activities like washing clothes, windows, patios and cars as well as irrigation.

How Does Rainwater Harvesting Help Prevent Climate Change?

  • Collecting rainwater massively reduces any run-off into sewers. This reduces the energy needed to process this water.
  • Using rainwater reduces your usage of water supplied via the water companies. This reduces the energy required to process and pump that water to your home.
  • Rainwater that runs off into the sewerage system inevitably ends up in our natural waterways. This causes environmental damage that requires energy to rectify.

Surface Water Drainage Rebates

If you have systems in place, such as rainwater harvesting technologies, to eliminate rainwater from entering the sewerage system, you may qualify for a rebate and even a refund of money overpaid. To apply for a rebate, contact the relevant water supply company for your area to find out what you need to do and what evidence you need to present.

Atlantis Tanks’ PuraTank Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Atlantis Tanks are experts in rainwater harvesting and the most suitable complete systems to get the best results from your property. Our range of complete solutions features all the equipment you need to install a cutting-edge rainwater harvesting technologies… and the shallow-dig tanks are surprisingly easy and low-cost to install.
We all have to do our bit now. Installing a rainwater harvesting system is one way you can help the planet and reduce your bills at the same time.
If you’d like to find out more about Atlantis Tanks’ rainwater harvesting solutions, give our team a ring today or take a look at our PuraTank range.