Managing water on new housing developments

As the number of new homes being built increases, how we manage water needs careful consideration. The new houses that are being built today must be designed to be water-efficient, flood-resilient and save energy. Paul Winnett, General Manager for Building Services and Industry at Xylem Water Solutions, shares some key challenges and strategies house-builders should consider.


Paul Winnett

Having worked in the building services and industrial business at Xylem for over 30 years, Paul Winnett brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the customisation of solutions for applications and designs on the latest trends in the building services and industrial markets. Having worked on a number of large-scale building and industrial projects, he has built up a strong background in best practices and has also sat on various British Standards committees to help initiate some of these best practices into the standards that we see today.


In many situations, groundwater and rainwater must be removed to allow for construction or prevent property damage. Whether from basements, garages, driveways, runways, public spaces or construction sites, rainwater must be removed quickly and efficiently to avoid problems. Sizing pumps to remove excess water takes care of everyday rain events and can prevent flooding. Dewatering applications demand tough yet versatile pumps that can handle local conditions with lots of silt, sand and gravel that is often present in the water.


Independent of which type of residential area it is, the wastewater needs to be collected and transported in some way. Depending on whether urban or rural areas, vacation homes or permanent residencies, different solutions are possible. They range from individual private treatment plants to different types of collection systems transporting the wastewater to a larger treatment plant. Independent of the system, the residents depend on reliable products and a sound pump system design, making sure the wastewater is removed in a safe way, without affecting the living conditions or the environment at minimal cost to the homeowner.

Pressure sewage systems

A pressure sewage system (PSS) is a smart, economical alternative for more remote housing areas. Pressure sewage systems use small pressurised (filled) discharge lines and are laid in shallow, narrow trenches that follow the natural contour of the ground. The pump’s grinding function reduces solids in size so that they can be easily transported in smaller discharge lines. The system consists of a branched, small-diameter pipe system and is based on small pump stations located near homes from which wastewater is received. Wastewater from a PPS network system is discharged into the gravity sewer or into a larger receiving pump station for subsequent transportation to a wastewater treatment plant. These systems can be applied to any scale, from a single home to a large development or an entire community. A small system may involve only a few households, while a large system can include hundreds or even thousands of pump stations.


The world’s growing population is demanding buildings that consume less energy and water. This is achieved through energy-efficient pumps, boosters, circulators, controls and other products and systems for building HVAC, including for premises such as data centres, manufacturing, office and apartment buildings, retail, sports complexes, central heating/chiller plants, hospitals, schools and green building projects.

Water pressure

Whether you’re doing the laundry, giving the kids a bath, watering the garden or washing the car – or doing all of those at once – homeowners expect a constant, continuous flow of water. This is achieved from constant pressure systems that can handle household demand effortlessly. A constant pressure system operates with a variable frequency drive controller that automatically monitors household demand. Like the cruise control on a car, the variable frequency drive speeds up or slows down the pump depending on a household’s water requirements. The result is reliable, constant pressure where and when you need it.

Hot water systems

Waiting for hot water is not only annoying; it’s one of the great water-wasting issues we face at home. Modern hot water recirculation systems provide instant hot water when the tap is opened. Systems fed by central heating or district hot water require hot water circulators to run efficiently. Hot water recirculation is not only about saving water; it’s also about safety. With a recirculation system, the water in the pipework will always be above 55ºC and thereby free from legionella bacteria.

Lawn and garden irrigation

Sprinkler systems save time, money, aid in water conservation and help achieve a lush, green lawn. Over time, an automatic sprinkler system will pay for itself. The savings are incurred by eliminating overwatering and providing perfect, efficient coverage. Hand watering is no match for the efficiency of an irrigation system.

Whatever a construction project demands, systems can be designed according to the project’s specific requirements, creating fully bespoke systems. The same scalability applies to the monitoring and control systems, from simple-to-use alarm management to advanced systems that complement pressure sewage systems.

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