While Essex may have escaped a hosepipe ban for the time being, our region is experiencing a very warm dry summer with one of the lowest rainfalls on record. Essex is the UK’s driest county so it’s vital that we make best use of water on our campuses.

Our Grounds team invested in a Clear Water Wash Pad in 2015 to reduce the amount of mains water they were using on cleaning their tools and vehicles. The Clear Water Wash Pad is a recycled water system which stores rainwater in a 5000l underground tank. The pad is sloped so any water on the pad runs back down into the tank. This water is then filtered and stored in the underground tank, ready to use again. This type of system is perfect for cleaning agriculture and grounds machinery.

To see how it works check out our video on Facebook.

We also have a small number of greywater tanks that help us recycle water on campus at Colchester and Southend. Plus, it’s not toilet flushing, but the pond at the center of Essex Business School (near the central stairwell) collects rainwater that is then used to irrigate the internal Winter Garden!

What we will be working on in the future?

We will be increasing rain/greywater collection across our three campuses, so that our Grounds team can use it for watering our wonderful plants and gardens. We will also be setting design standards that will ensure new buildings (or substantial refurbishments) incorporate rainwater/greywater harvesting.

What can you do to help preserve our water resources?

  • Report any dripping taps on campus to the Estates Help Desk by emailing ems-helpdesk@essex.ac.uk this helps us tackle and fix water wastage as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure taps are turned off after you have used them.
  • At home try using a watering can instead of the hose pipe.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.

For more sustainability news sign up to the Sustainability team’s newsletter email sustainability@essex.ac.uk