Water Management Planning Guidance for Construction Projects

Water Management Planning Guidance for Construction Projects

 

Identify Activities On-Site

Most construction activities demand water in one form or another. However, few need to use potable water, unless hygiene, health or product quality could be compromised. It is important to identify the trades, their activities and, if water is required, whether potable or non-potable water would be appropriate.

The ultimate aim is to eliminate demand and use of potable water in construction. It is unlikely that water demand can be eliminated, but efforts can be made to reduce and use alternative sources, as well as reuse water for construction activities. The following table outlines key activities on site where water is needed and further provides an assessment of whether non-portable sources might be appropriate for them. Examples of efficient technology and practices for each activity are also listed.


Click on the Activities below to find out more.

Site Cabins



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Site Cabins Drinking, kitchen, canteen, toilets and urinals, showers and hand washing. Portable

Non-Potable
Efficient showers, taps, toilets and urinal controls. Trigger control on catering taps & use of vessels for washing rather than under running taps.

Rainwater capture for toilet flushing. Waterless urinals. Welfare floor cleaning.


General Cleaning



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
General Cleaning Tool rinsing and Boot Washing

Plant and equipment washing
Non-Potable Fill containers rather than use running taps or open hoses.

Trigger-operated spray guns.

Use of a closed water recycling system – like a small scale wheel washing facility.


Demolition Dust Suppression



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Demolition Dust Suppression Hydro-demolition

Damping & Misting
Non-Potable

Potable
Exploit existing water in the building (eg use of water tanks in building if full.

Drain water from tanks to skips as temporary containment.

Drain water from water tanks to basement, as a holding tank.

Capture for potential use elsewhere


Site Dust Suppression



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Site Dust Suppression Damping – dust

Wheel wash – road safety
Non Potable Use of chemical additives.

Use of control systems to allow damping activities to be altered for different applications and weather conditions.

Use of water efficient road sweepers and dust suppression vehicles which recirculate water and/or have efficient spraying mechanisms such as a hydraulic spinning system.

Use water collected elsewhere on site – such as from SUDS – for dust suppression activities.

Use drive-on wheel wash systems that recirculate water. Use captured water, or water from elsewhere on site to fill tanks.

Consider waterless wheel cleaning systems if space permits.


Drilling



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Piling (all types)

Ground Source Heat Pump Drilling
Lubricant

Bentonite production
Potable if pressure required

Non-Potable (where able)
Inspect hose lines for leakage and repair or replace as required.

Watertight circulation tanks, rather than pits.

Use of meters on supply lines / consumption monitoring for high demand activities


Frame



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Frame

Non-issue for Steel/wood
Concrete cooling Non-Potable Use damp sheets/ ice packs as alternative to spray cooling.


Wet Trades



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Bricks & Blocks Silo mixer Both - use of water butts and localised water cisterns for mortar mixing, as alternative to live ring main and long hose pipe runs on site.


Screed



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Screed Laying Both Apply in early morning, late evening or out of hours, for natural cooling (avoid additional water demand for damping).

- Use ready mix (avoid onsite water demand/waste/pollution risk)

Avoid screed through higher tolerance and finishing specification for concrete slabs.


Concrete Production



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Concrete Production   Both, follow guidance in EN 1008:2002 Alternative sources can be used provided the risk of contamination from non-cement based materials is minimal.

Consider a storage facility on site where water for cleaning could be blended with potable water for use in production.


Concrete Wash Out



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Concrete Wash Out   Non-Potable Consider collecting wastewater and, following filtering, reusing as an ingredient in the concrete batching process.

Consider use of a ‘concrete sock’ to cover concrete chutes on wagons.

Use trigger guns on hoses.


Rendering & Plastering



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Rendering & Plastering   Potable The use of non-potable water carries some risk as contaminants in the water may cause longer term instability.

Avoid use of plaster by specifying dry-line finish.


Dry Wall



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Dry Wall Taping and jointing Potable preferable to avoid long term instability from risk of contaminants in non-potable, unless settled & filtered. Use of water butts and localised water cisterns for mortar mixing, as alternative to live ring main and long hose pipe runs on site

Use ready mix ( to avoid on site water demand/waste).


Painters



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Painters Brush/roller cleaning Potable Use of proprietary wash plant (e.g. Crown, Dulux, Safety Kleen baths) that reuse water and contain residues that are settled and can be removed from site for reuse.

Minimise paint colour changes to avoid the need to wash tools.

Keep brushes in plastic bags to prevent drying, and hence the need for frequent washing.

Consider a first rinse of brushes with non-potable, but debris free, water.


Core / Diamond Drilling



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Core / Diamond Drilling Wet cut is the traditional approach (but is high volume user of water, often creating safety issues with water cascade to lower floor work areas) Non-Potable Preform openings designed in prefabricated sections, avoiding core/diamond drilling.

Dry cut where possible.

If wet cut is only suitable option, set up water reservoir (wheelie bin) to allow water recycling. At regular intervals remove the sludge and silts from filters into an inert waste bin to prevent blockages.


Curtain Walling



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Curtain walling Curtain walling

Pressure test – use of sparge bars
Potable with pumped reuse Minimise consumption to test curtain wall integrity standard


Commissioning



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Commissioning M&E

Pipe

Pools

Bund testing
Potable for pipe systems (reuse to be considered)

Tanks – 1st test non-potable; final test Potable – (with reuse…)
Planned water use – sequential flushing, sub-valving and reuse where practicable.

Isolate water flow as soon water turns clear when commissioning pipes and systems.

Use of tanks for storage – fire storage – use in landscaping works or other.

Sequential flushing for swimming pools, jacuzzi to reduce volume used

Reuse flushed water for landscape irrigation, washdown etc.


Drains



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Drains Flushing Both (reuse to be considered with bunged end and gulley suckers) Reuse water collected from commissioning activities.

Use water from attenuation or rainwater harvest tanks if installed.


Roof Testing



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Roof testing Electrical test ponding Non-Potable with reuse Reuse water collected from commissioning activities.

Use water from attenuation tanks.


Cleaning



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Cleaning Externals Non-Potable Use mechanical methods.


Window Cleaning



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Window cleaning   Potable with reuse Use manual systems, rather than extended hoses. Encourage reuse by contractors.


Green Roofs and Walls



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Green roofs and walls Delay if necessary Non-Potable Direct water application by fixed watering systems, with pressure reduction and timers only.


Pitches, Verges and Gardens



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
Pitches, verges, gardens Delay Non-Potable Plant in autumn to limit watering needed during dryer summer period.

Avoid planting and subsequent irrigation in heat of day. Ideally water early morning or evening, allowing soil and root take-up.


General



Activity Water Use (Obligatory to maintain operations) Potable or Non-Potable Options to avoid Potable Water demand
General Laying of temporary water supplies - - Network integrity and protection. Check for leaks (e.g. hose lines) and repair/replace as required. Use pressure sensor/leakage detection to assist.

Isolate supplies whilst site is not occupied e.g. over night.