Water harvesting expands to meet growing demand

Aug. 7, 2007
A Mid Wales company involved in the design and distribution of rainwater harvesting systems has tripled in size since opening for business two years ago and has now moved into larger premises to cater for the growing demand for its green products. 3PTechnik UK has bought a 7,800 sq ft unit from the Welsh Assembly Government on Cardigan's Parc Teifi business park and received an Assembly Investment Grant to support the creation of new jobs. The expansion has already created five new jobs and...

• Mid Wales company triples in size to meet demand for green products

August 7, 2007 -- A Mid Wales company involved in the design and distribution of rainwater harvesting systems has tripled in size since opening for business two years ago and has now moved into larger premises to cater for the growing demand for its green products.

3PTechnik UK has bought a 7,800 sq ft unit from the Welsh Assembly Government on Cardigan's Parc Teifi business park and received an Assembly Investment Grant to support the creation of new jobs.

The expansion has already created five new jobs and the company anticipates further growth of 50% this year.

Managing Director Dr. Glyn Hyett has an exclusive distribution partnering deal with 3P Technik of Germany, a company that has been developing innovative rainwater harvesting products for over thirteen years and is the European market leader in components for rainwater systems.

Dr. Hyett's company is the sole distributor of these products in the UK, Ireland, the USA and Canada. In addition the Welsh company designs and develops its own products and intends to expand this part of the business and is keen to work with other Welsh companies in this sector.

The installation of rainwater harvesting systems- where rain falling on the roof of a building is channeled to surface or underground storage tanks, filtered and recovered when needed -- is a rapidly expanding market in the UK.

Demand has tripled in the last two years and growing at a rate of 100% year on year.

Dr. Hyett explained that harvesting rainwater is not only a sustainable use of a valuable resource, creating real environmental benefits, but can represent substantial savings in terms of money and energy.

Numerous new housing developments now include rainwater harvesting systems into their design while the substantial financial savings mean commercial applications are also increasing.

"Water may seem to flow endlessly from our taps but its delivery and purification requires more and more energy and effort," he said.

"Most households use about 146 liters of water a day -- but 60% of the average water consumption is used for flushing toilets, washing machines and the garden -- where water of drinking quality is not necessary.

"The use of rainwater harvesting systems can reduce mains water consumption by an average of 50% bringing major savings for households. The economies are even more marked when installed in commercial or public buildings where there may be a high demand for non potable water. Saving water saves energy."

He said that buildings such as schools, libraries, leisure centers, hospitals, housing associations and business premises like call centers with centralized toilet blocks -- could save water -- and money -- by using these systems that are already extensively used in many European countries.

"But the systems need to be designed in during the planning phase of development as this is a new build technology and expensive to retro fit. I am therefore particularly keen to work more closely with the public sector and Housing Associations on water sustainability in new builds in Wales."

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said that 3P Technik UK was one of a growing number of companies in Wales actively promoting environmental best practice through their core business activities and contributing to the Assembly Government's green agenda.

"3P is operating in a niche market that is expanding rapidly and has excellent prospects for future growth. It is good news to see that the company is already making a positive contribution to the local economy by creating new well paid jobs and I am pleased the Assembly Government was able to assist with their expansion project."

Dr. Hyett, who is a Director and founder member of the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association, added that water harvesting brings benefits in times of water shortages -- as well as water surpluses.

"These systems come into their own during a drought by helping to conserve drinking water -- but their installation can also help during periods of heavy rainfall as they contribute to stormwater management by reducing the amount of rainwater running into drainage systems."

The latest Environment Agency infrastructure report shows that nearly all of England, south of the Humber, is experiencing critical or high levels of demand on water supplies while at the same time 2.3 million properties and 4.5 million people are at on-going risk of flooding.

The UK Rainwater Harvesting Association is a UK wide trade body to promote the environmental and financial benefits of harvesting rainwater.

3P Technik UK is the only company in the UK solely supplying rainwater harvesting components to the trade -- their customers are the companies that manufacture the tanks for harvesting rainwater and supply complete systems to developers, builders and end users. The company has developed a new filtration system to harvest runoff from large hard- standing areas like car parks and roads. It could significantly increase the amount of water that is recycled and bring additional financial benefits for commercial and industrial premises. The system would remove metals, phosphates, oil and petrol residues and reduce pollutants entering rivers and groundwaters.

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