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To solve the flooding problems of one householder in Christchurch, Dorset, the company has installed a 5,000 litre capacity tank in the garden.

The rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in the underground tank which has a pump that allows the water to be used for watering the garden through a conventional outside tap.

Wessex Water project manager Joseph Edmunds said: “To deal with the flooding problem we had two options; either increase the size of the sewer or look into storing the water to provide extra capacity in the sewerage network.

“Installing a large storage tank in the front garden of a property is an unusual, but sustainable, approach that will hopefully reduce the likelihood of flooding while at the same time allows the homeowners to put the rainwater to good use.”

The householder, Anne Mason, a keen gardener, is particularly pleased with the solution. She said: “When it rained heavily water used to run off the roofs of houses, paths and driveways overwhelming nearby drains.

“Now when it rains the water is stored in a tank under our front garden and we’re able to put the stormwater that caused problems in the past to good use.”

The property not only uses this sustainable approach to solving flooding, it also has solar panels on the roof to generate electricity and a solar water heating system.

Alison Brown

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