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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorwoodgnome
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2013
    My current water bills are about £25 to £30 per month, on a meter. I have a good spring feeding a large pond, which seems to run all year, even in the hot summer...distant memory.
    My new build will be not too far from it. I was considering using the pond for my GSHP, but still to be decided. If i don't do this, i was thinking about using the spring for our water supply, subject to testing.
    Anyone done this? Any ideas on cost of pumps and filters etc. is it worth it?

    Where on spring water. Alternative was mains water with over 100 mtrs of lead pipe which I was not prepared to do for my kids. As for cost it depends how clean your water is. Our total system including pump cost less than £150 but then we do have clean flowing water which does not require filters.
    Can you legally do this? - How will they charge you for waste water if your water usage is zero (unless you are not on mains sewage).
    Alternatively cut down as much as possible, use the spring water for toilet as a start - I installed 2 IBC rain storage tanks and a hand operated bilge pump and reduced my water bill by nearly half.

    I also collect my drinking and cooking water from an artesian well - stored in glass demijohns.

    I would try and incorporate the spring as much as possible - the extra build costs are bound to be cost effective - we pay £4 a m³ and the price is only going to increase.

    Also if no rain water diverts into the mains drainage you can claim (currently with south east water) £22 back a year.
    Forgot to mention where also not on mains sewage.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013
    Go for the spring then, there are plenty of people who use wells, springs even rain water, some even untreated.
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013
    We use a spring. The water is slightly acid so we have a lime cylinder to counteract this and a simple filter. All easy to get hold of and an easy DIY install. Ours has only stopped twice once 1976 and again some time in the early eighty's. It is scary feeling when you are dependent on the water but I love the taste and hate having to drink mains water as chlorine tastes so strong if your not used to it. We also have no mains sewage so can't comment on the price of sewerage alone.
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013
    Friends of mine have just bought a bit of land near a river and are having all sorts of problems about the sewage. Seems it is too close, too far away, not high enough, not low enough, too large or two small.

    Am I right in thinking that the rules on sewage are being tightened up along with the farm discharge/much spreading rules?
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2013
    Posted By: tombuild.comI installed 2 IBC rain storage tanks and a hand operated bilge pump and reduced my water bill by nearly half.

    Thanks for the link. I'm planning to do that and it's good to know I'm not totally mad (or at least that there is somebody is as mad as me!).

    I'm thinking of having the bilge pump deliver to a 50 litre holding tank in the roof that is then gravity fed to the WCs. I figure that way it will only need pumping about once a day and visitors won't need to buy in to the scheme. It should also allow me to fit a backup mains feed to the holding tank, that tops it up if the level drops below 10 litres or so. I still need to work out the details of that.
    We're on spring water and it tastes -much- better than mains.

    And greener too.

    Except after heavy rain when it goes slightly brown.

    We have UV steriliser and pH filtering, by the time we pay running costs, repairs, septic tank emptied, it works out about same costs as mains.
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