Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) said it has been working on a piece of innovation which not only helps with its gritting runs, but also has sustainability benefits.
CBC has installed a rainwater harvesting system at its Thorn Turn depot. The system collects rainwater from the roof, that would otherwise flow down gutters into the drain, and stores it in a tank which can hold up to 15,000 litres. The collected water is then used for creating their pre-wet brine solution for its gritting trucks.
This system was first used in January and has been in operation throughout the winter gritting season. The solution leads to a reduction of the amount of salt and fresh water being used, which is an added benefit to the environment and also saves money.
Following the trial, CBC will be installing a smaller, 1,000 litre rainwater harvesting system at its Sandy highways depot in April.
The rainwater collected will be used to clean vehicles and equipment and for use within CBC’s highways maintenance programme, e.g., using it to mix asphalt and other materials.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, executive member for community services, said:
“Our highways department is leading the way in finding innovative solutions to reduce costs and, by using this new system for collecting rainwater, it helps us to provide substantial savings on our water bills.”
Cllr Steven Dixon, executive member for sustainability and transformation, said:
“We are constantly striving to become more sustainable and this relatively simple but effective system for collecting and storing rainwater reduces our demand on precious water resources.
“This project is one of many that builds on our Sustainability Plan, which aims to get everyone thinking about the climate challenge and what steps can be taken by an individual or on a community basis.”