Home > News > Articles & speeches > Reducing surface water flooding

Heavy downpours here in Llanelli often mean that excess surface water, coming off roofs and highways, overloads the sewerage system causing spills into the Burry Inlet.

You may have seen the work that has recently started on Queen Mary Walk, Llanelli ….this is part of Welsh Water’s Rainscape scheme, which will capture that surface water and feed it gradually into the sewerage system, to try and reduce flooding and pollution incidents.

But we could go one better than that. If we captured rainwater for uses which do not require fully purified water, such as flushing our toilets, we would not only reduce the volume of surface water going into the sewerage system, but we would save on the amount of water requiring expensive purification processes. Of course many people have been doing this for years, with downpipes feeding water butts for garden use. But we could go further by collecting water off our roofs into tanks, and using it to flush toilets. It is always easier to incorporate such measures into new build, but if Welsh Water were to help people to do this in their existing homes, in the same way as the Welsh Government has given help with insulation, then it would be a win – win situation. So as they are now consulting on future investment and plan significant spend on Rainscape schemes in Llanelli, why not invest in developing the most practical way of collecting rainwater to flush toilets, and let people opt into the scheme? Those on water meters would also lower their bills.