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Households urged to use grey water to minimise risk of flooding.

The chairman of British Water's Wastewater Engineering Focus Group has urged householders to take control of their rainwater.

Mike Norton, who is also chairman of the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association, has warned that unless house owners start to use grey water–the waste water from showers, and baths– they risk increased flooding in the future.

“We have to start taking control of the billions of gallons of water that's wasted every day”, he said. “By introducing rainwater harvesting and using our grey water, we can reduce the amount of water that's poured into our drains. It's that water that bubbles up every time we have heavy rain and it ends up in people's lounges, whereas it could be usefully re-used to flush toilets or for watering the garden, for example. There is no reason on earth why we should use carefully cleaned water just to flush the loo. ”

All household wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers, baths and bathroom sinks is called grey water. A building consent is needed to collect and re-use grey water on your garden or for toilet flushing.

British Standards Water Focus Group is about to publish the new rainwater BS 8515 which is a code of practice for the installation of rainwater harvesting schemes. It is also about to start writing the grey water standard BS8525 which will help households achieve compliance as required by The Code for Sustainable Homes in 2012.

Mike Norton added: “These new grey water British Standards will help households to deliver water for re-use even in droughts”

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