21 February 2022
Steenbergs Installs Rainwater Harvesting At 6 Hallikeld Close Factory
Steenbergs has finished a project today to install rainwater harvesting at its spice factory. This is part of Steenbergs' commitment to reduce its water usage by 25% by 2025.
On a wet and windy February day, when the Rivers Ouse and Tutt have flooded in Boroughbridge, it seems ironic to be looking at ways to reduce our water footprint. Especially as Steenbergs' water usage is generally very low at around 120 cubic metres annually.
But we have committed to cutting our environmental impact because it matters to us, these are part of our values and delivering on what we believe in is important to who we are. We have set ourselves the target of reducing our annual water usage by -25% over the period 2016 - 2025. Last year (2021) was a bit of a disaster for water usage because we had a flood in a January cold snap when the pipes blew in the roof above the labelling area and staff kitchen at 6 Hallikeld Close, but fingers crossed this year is a bit better. This prompted us to look at rainwater harvesting - nothing like a crisis to spur us into action.
So, while we already have low flush toilets in 6 Hallikeld Close, the idea was to switch the toilets that currently use drinking water over to using grey water. And one thing we have in North Yorkshire is a lot of water, with a beck running just alongside the Steenbergs spice factory. This rainwater harvesting should bring down our water use because Steenbergs doesn't use water in its processing, so our main use for water is toilets and then potable water for hand washing, pot washing and making ourselves copious cups of tea and coffee.
This project has been a long time in development.
We decided to do it in March last year. So, Axel ordered it and took delivery of a rainwater tank mid-year. This was connected up to our gutters in August 2021, with the overflow going into the beck. And it didn't take long to get filled up with rainwater, but it's taken a really long time to organize a plumber to hook the kit up.
Finally, today (21 February 2022), it has been plumbed in. The rainwater is now pumped up to a header tank in the roof void, then is gravity fed to the toilet cisterns. For when there is no rainwater available, which seems improbable today, the header tank has been connected to the mains coldwater feed via a system of ballcocks, sensors and valves, so we're not caught short in the summertime.
The tank was supplied by R A Dalton and is a 1500 litre tank from Kingspan with pump to a 227 litre Polytank header tank. The pump in the tank was supplemented by a DAB Esybox Mini 3 electronic water pump booster system.