The emergency water conservation measures being implemented in the south east of the country have been well publicised. However, the impact of the worsening drought is rapidly spreading northwards, with Scottish Water recently urging customers in Kelso and Yetholm to cut back usage to ensure supplies can be maintained and residents in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire being temporarily without drinking water - with garden sprinklers being blamed! Supplies in many areas are now on a knife edge.
The recently implemented Sutton & East Surrey Drought Order has already caused major problems at a wide range of sports facilities. This Drought Order prohibited, with effect from Saturday 27th May, 2006, the use within it's area of supply, of any water supplied by the Company (whether by meter or not) for a wide range purposes. Prohibited uses include watering by hosepipe or similar apparatus of public parks and gardens, golf clubs, cricket pitches, bowling greens and other sports pitches whether natural or artificial.
Washing of golf course equipment & vehicles and yards by hosepipe is prohibited and mechanical and automatic vehicle washes are also banned. But those with water recycling are allowed to apply for an exemption. Anyone breaking this order may face a fine of up to £1,000.
The Waste2Water Recycling Wash-Off System is exempt and is fully authorised for use in drought restricted areas. The system reduces wash-off water usage by a massive 90+%. "Installing a Waste2Water Recycling Wash-Off System is the answer to ensure wash-off operations can continue, irrespective of the extent of the drought conservation measures", advises Tim Earley, Managing Director, of Waste2Water Europe Ltd.
58 golf courses and hundreds of other sports and recreational facilities in the Sutton and East Surrey area have already been drastically affected by the Drought Order. This is very likely to increase at least threefold should Southern Water and Mid Kent Water also impose their recently granted Drought Orders. Add the Drought Order application recently submitted by Thames Water, affecting 5 million of their 8 million consumers, and the recent water shortage warnings issued by water companies as far north as Scotland, and it is fair to say things are getting serious!
The threat of the imposition of ever more essential drought restrictions has brought an increased urgency and focus on the need to install a Recycling Wash-Off System at golf courses and Local Authority grounds maintenance depots. Equipment cannot be properly maintained if it cannot be cleaned and maintenance will be severely compromised if operators are unable to wash-off their equipment for many months.
Simon Osbourne, Course Manager at Cuddington Golf Club, Banstead, Surrey, recently installed a Waste2Water Recycling Wash-Off System. Simon commented, "We received notification from Sutton and East Surrey Water that we could no longer wash our equipment off after the 27th May, and that the ban was expected to last for at least 6 months. I advised them that we had recently installed a Waste2Water System and they were delighted. The water company authorised us to continue washing-off as normal and advised us to put a prominent "Recycled Water" sign up to avoid potential conflict with neighbours due to us continuing to use water when they are not allowed, which is particularly important as we have houses less then 50 metres from our wash-off area. The system is superb and has saved the day."
If you are in a drought restricted / threatened area installing a Waste2Water Recycling Wash-Off System is the answer to ensure your wash-off operations can continue, irrespective of the drought conservation measures.
Waste2Water Tel: 01782 373 878
The Worst Drought for 100 years
According to the Environment Agency 2006 Drought Prospects Report the south east of England is facing its worst drought for 100 years after one of the driest periods on record. The period from November 2004 to January 2006 has been the second driest since records began in 1914 and, making matters much worse, water consumption has increased massively in the intervening period.
The Environment Agency are extremely concerned about the impact of drought in the South East of the country, particularly Sussex and Kent. River flows have set new record low flows in these areas with the river Medway in Kent at only 32%. Bewl Reservoir water level is at only 37% of average.
If anyone thinks golf courses have been 'missed' in this debate, think again. As one leading newspaper recently highlighted, "South East England now has less water per person than Egypt. The major difference though, between the south east region of the UK and Egypt is that Surrey, Sussex and Kent have 160 golf courses, each using up to 7 million litres of water a season and Surrey, for example, has 2,000 swimming pools".