Graf UK is one of the fastest growing suppliers of sustainable water management systems in the UK, focusing on three main areas:
1.Preventing sewage being discharged into our water courses,
2.Preventing flooding in increasingly extreme weather conditions, through stormwater management,
3.Putting the precious resource of rainwater to good use through rainwater harvesting.
Established in 2014, Graf UK is part of the wider Graf Group, which has origins dating back to 1962 and an impressive sustainability pedigree, with products manufactured from close on 100% recycled plastic.
But it is not just the production process that is green with Graf, the after sales is too, with systems designed from scratch to not only conserve water and prevent flooding but treat sewage with impressively low levels of power consumption.
With a peerless pedigree in the wastewater treatment sector, Graf UK is ideally placed to advise architects and specifiers of two current industry issues.
Firstly, “new” regulations governing the use of septic tanks, which came into force on January 1st 2020, mean architects designing properties off the mains sewage network need to be compliant with the Environment Agency’s efforts to reduce the level of pollution from sewage in the nation’s watercourses. Under the General Binding Rules, anyone with a septic tank discharging into a watercourse must replace it or upgrade the foul water solution.
Secondly, Natural England is advising several local authorities to halt the determination of planning applications unless the developments can prove they are nutrient neutral. A ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has meant greater scrutiny of the water quality of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA) across the UK, with the building of residential properties particularly being linked to excess nutrients entering nearby water sources.
The development of technology to remove excess nutrients was implemented more than 15 years ago by Graf for Scandinavia, where the phosphate element of nutrient elimination is already common practice, and now more than 5,000 wastewater treatment systems with this technology have been supplied into the region.
Graf UK’s wastewater treatment portfolio spans everything from cesspools through septic tanks to full sewage treatment plants, ensuring there is something to suit any requirement. And as well as supplying the systems, Graf UK offers design, installation, commissioning and maintenance/servicing through a nationwide networks of specialist contractors.
Wherever there is development of land, whether it be for buildings, roads or parking spaces, on which it rains heavily, there is an ever-increasing quantity of stormwater than needs managing, which previously would have been absorbed into the ground.
Graf UK’s stormwater management systems include crates or geocellular systems along with infiltration tunnels for use in soakaways and attenuation tanks. For example, the EcoBloc Maxx system of geocellular modules feature a reservoir volume of up to 96% - three times the storage volume of a standard gravel infiltration ditch. One module takes the place of around 376kg (0.376 tonne) of gravel or a 24m (78ft) length of 110mm drainage pipe.
The new respect for the environment that was evidenced during the pandemic saw sales of Graf UK’s rainwater harvesting systems hit new heights during lockdowns, with 100% increases in consumer sales of above-ground systems such as water butts (which capture about 500 litres of water) and 50% increases in below-ground pumped systems, for the garden only as well as for the garden and house, which can easily filter and store up to 10,000 litres.
Environmentally conscious designers of high-end properties particularly are starting to specify and build rainwater harvesting systems into their portfolios from scratch. The new-build option further reduces the very attractive supply and installation costs.
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