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Alpine Fire launches campaign to reduce four billion litres of drinking water wasted every year by UK businesses in mandatory fire tests

Alpine Fire launches campaign to reduce four billion litres of drinking water wasted every year by UK businesses in mandatory fire tests
  • UK fire regulations demand businesses test sprinkler systems every week without being required to capture or reuse this water
  • Two litres of clean water are lost every second during weekly testing
  • Alpine Fire partners with London School of Architecture to design a better system

Every year in the UK, billions of litres of drinking water are wasted as businesses are forced to test their fire suppression systems weekly, without a need to capture the water pumped through the pipes and down the drain.

Alpine Fire, one of the UK’s leading specialist providers in the design and maintenance of active fire suppression systems, has launched a campaign to reduce, recycle and reuse this water.

The business has also partnered with the London School of Architecture and Orms Designers & Architects to design a fire suppressions system of the future that can reuse the water used in tests. Student architects have started work on the project and are due to report back in March.

Every week, sprinkler systems in commercial buildings have to be tested for 30 minutes at full power. That means companies are flushing billions of litres of clean water through their pipes which then goes down the drain rather than being saved and reused.

The campaign has already engaged with former DEFRA Secretary George Eustice MP and is working with DEFRA to explore how changes can be addressed.

In addition, and by way of offset for the hundreds of millions of litres of water that they use each year, Alpine Fire has embarked on a multi-year programme of dam restoration with the Lake District National Park. The first project will see the dam at Throng Moss Tarn restored, a critical haven for wildlife and am important strategic reserve for wildfires in the Lakes.

Commenting on the campaign, CEO Steven Nanda said:

“Billions of litres of drinking water are needlessly lost every year in the cause of fire safety, and we are working with the officials at DEFRA and leading architects to solve the problem.

Water usage in the UK’s fire suppression systems has been overlooked so far, and our customers are under pressure to address every aspect of their sustainability. We are committed to leading the campaign for change.

“We are hugely encouraged by our engagement with DEFRA and feel confident that together we can work towards a change in regulation for new builds as well as retrofitting existing buildings”

Commenting on the campaign, former SoS of DEFRA George Eustice said:

“Water scarcity is a real and live issue in the UK. Any initiative that identifies such a huge amount of unintended water wastage is to be welcomed and I am delighted to be supporting Alpine Fire and their 4 billion campaign.”

Commenting on the partnership, Neal Shasore CEO of LSA said:

“We are delighted to be part of this worthwhile sustainability initiative and are already inspired by the work our students have produced in response to this challenge.”

Gavin Capstick of the Lake District National Park said:

“A partnership of this kind with a forward-thinking business like Alpine Fire is something we welcome. Water scarcity is a very real issue for the UK’s National Parks, and as England’s biggest park, the Lake District sees the effects more than most. We are delighted to be working with Alpine Fire to restore Throng Moss Tarn for wildlife and as a strategic water reserve.”

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BDC 314 : Mar 2024