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15 Jul 2021

Installation - an important process

Installation is considered one of the most important steps in the lifecycle of our respected rainwater harvesting systems, therefore if the process is carried out incorrectly, it could lead to problems arising with the system later in its life. Our systems are designed to provide safe, reliable rainwater for non-potable use in buildings of all shapes and sizes, but even a single installation mistake could have adverse consequences for the integrity of your bespoke system.

 With this in mind, we asked our specialist engineers to give us an insider’s look into common installation mistakes they experience when coming to commission our systems on construction sites. It is worth noting that our trained, in-house engineers specialise in the build, commissioning and maintenance of our systems so are able to offer our clients a wealth of expert industry knowledge to offer solutions to any queries that arise!

Use the correct colour pipework


Firstly, our engineers pointed out that multiple systems they had come across are installed with the incorrect colour of MDPE pipework. They explained that many systems have been installed with incorrect blue pipework (used for mains water), instead of black and green pipework (used for rainwater).

 Colour is an essential differentiation tool for the construction industry, especially when coming to rectify faults when a facility has been handed over. Green and Black MDPE is essential for this differentiation process as it shows to a maintenance contractor that water running from the rainwater harvesting system is of non-potable use (not safe for consumption). Because of the widely-known fact that blue MDPE is associated with safe drinking water, a maintenance contractor could visit a site and attach a rainwater pipe to a mains water pipe, if they were run in the same colour. This would result in cross-contamination within the two separate water systems and is highly serious. Therefore, it is imperative any rainwater feed is installed with black and green MDPE pipework to allow differentiation from mains water.

 Take care of your tank

Secondly, our team of knowledgeable engineers identified that installation contractors may render the below ground tank inaccessible due to poor installation techniques. They explained that this is caused by a number of potential mistakes, the most common of these being covering the man hole or installing the tank too deep.

 Tanks can often be used as a dumping ground throughout construction; we have even found safety barriers and a shopping trolley in one before. Make sure you include for Stormsaver to provide a thorough tank clean to remove builders debris prior to commissioning.

 Make sure the filters and pump in your tank are accessible from ground level

If access is compromised to the tank it may result in the pre-tank filter being in-accessible to maintenance teams, meaning filters cannot be cleaned which comprises water quality in the long-term.

 Furthermore, if the pipework is installed over 350-400mm below ground level, then the tank will be considered as confined space from a health and safety perspective, resulting in specialist equipment  being required and double the maintenance costs for 2 operatives. So make sure that you choose a system where filters can be removed on a handle from ground level and pipework is safely accessible .

 Consider a steel frame base when installing an above ground tank

Another aspect of installation mentioned was the base for above ground tanks, included in products such as our StormStation. The engineers recommend installation contractors to double check the base is within the pre-defined tolerances outlined in the installation manual. If not adhered to this could lead to tank cracking in the long term. Tolerances get harder to achieve for larger tanks, but fortunately, Stormsaver can offer a steel base frame, which assists with keeping the tank on a firm, aligned footing.

Remember that Stormsaver provide a free pre-commissioning site visit with each order, so take advantage of this and let us help you to get it right, first time.

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