Back in March, in recognition of World Water Day 2020, we ran a competition to raise awareness of water consumption on site. We have a duty to both conserve and protect this vital resource from pollution.
The entry from the LIV York Street Project in Belfast stood out. Their submission included numerous measures they have implemented with positive outcomes.
On a large scale, in the pre contract meeting with concrete supplier, RTU, they established the process for concrete washout water arisings in advance. The water used to wash the wagon chutes is collected on-site into a cube, and when the cube is full, it is pumped into a wagon and returned to the concrete plant for reuse in the batching process.
Forward thinking and planning at the pre contract stage, saved money, time, and hassle for the project whilst delivering environmental benefits. Over 10,000m3 of concrete has been poured to date and all hazardous alkaline wash water has been removed off-site for free, reduced water consumption as the water is reused to make more concrete in a closed loop and it is a simple solution that is easy to implement by everyone on site.
Additional advantages of the system include:
- It ensures that concrete wagons are cleaned out correctly
- It ensures that no contaminated waste is spilled which could end up washing down a drain or leaking into a watercourse, resulting in serious damage to the environment
- It enables reuse of concrete washout water to make more concrete at the batching plant
On a smaller scale, the site team also installed a water butt to collect rainwater from the roof of the site accommodation. The water is then used with the boot wash before people enter the office. It is a low cost effective initiative, but promotes water efficiency with all site users and raises awareness of measures which could be replicated at home.