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Monday, 25 April 2022

Rainwater Harvesting - Latest in the Sorry Saga

 Our Kingspan Envireau rainwater harvesting 'system' has become quite famous, for all the wrong reasons.  It has been out of action (again) for some months after the main delivery pipe from the submerged pump to the house burst (for a second time) inside the tank and well out of reach far below the access manhole.

The only way to repair it was to get inside the underground tank via a deep and narrow shaft, barred part way down by pipework which had to be cut away.  Even then the plastic threaded fitting which connected the burst pipe to the outside world was far out of sight.

The only answer was to drain the tank, create a man-sized access through pipework and wires to get an eye level view of the repair site, below the overhanging rim of the tank itself.  Potholing is popular in the Yorkshire Dales but only for the brave of spirit who do not have claustrophobia.  I have done it when younger and dafter but did once resolve never to do it again when crawling through a wet and narrow passage running off Gaping Gill.

The depth of the dark, dank, delve can be judged from these two pictures.  The first shows the access ladder resting on the bottom of the tank.  There are just three rungs sticking out.above the ground:

Job done, here is the entire ladder propped against the side of the coal truck - all fourteen rungs of it:

I had put the problem to Kingspan Envireau in an enquiry from their website in which I asked what sort of pipe I should use to ensure it did not again bust.  They did not reply.  I did manage to get advice from a US American website which was useful.  In passing, I included a link to the rainwater harvesting tales of woe in this Blog.  Surprise, surprise, I am not the only one out there who has had Kingspan troubles.  It even caused comment from the USA about the Kingspan cladding on Grenfell Tower.

My Kingspan system has become so famous that I was recently asked to review a now recently published book on rainwater harvesting.

Having read the .pdf of the book I wrote to author Renee:

I really do wish that I had been able to see your book eleven years ago when we installed our grossly over-elaborate system. My advice to anybody about to 'take the plunge' is to keep it simple - and to read Renee's book.

Besides dealing with those parts of the world with low rainfall and no mains water, it deals in great detail with the technicalities of elaborate systems
like ours.  Ours was a well intended eco-indulgence, badly designed and installed by Kingspan Envireau.

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