UV filter up and running

A water filtration system mounted on a wall.

Late yesterday, our local water services company, GRC Aquatech, phoned to say that due to a cancellation they could do our filtration system today: was I interested?

We weren’t expecting to have the system installed before the end of January at the earliest, so I didn’t need to consider the question for more than a millisecond before saying ‘yes, please’.

The fitter was booked for 10am, leaving us a couple of hours between our morning chores and his arrival in which to clear the dining room, drain the header tank in the loft, and begin scrubbing it out. (The concrete and granite plinth below the mounting site was chipped out last year.)

When the fitter arrived, I explained that we wanted the filters mounted below kitchen worktop height as, in the long-term, we’d like to convert the dining room into the kitchen. We also wanted the supply pipe routed at right angles to the wall with the internal piping parallel to it, so we could build a better plinth along the base of the wall.

He was quite happy to do as we’d asked, especially as we’d set things up so all he had to do was fit the filters. Apparently that’s a rare occurrence.

A couple of hours later, we had a very neat filtration system installed exactly as requested and all that was needed before it was commissioned was to disinfect the header tank with a chlorine tab.

The fitter climbed up to the loft, from where he announced that he was using less chlorine than normal because our header tank was one of the cleanest he’d seen. That would be the result of an hour’s scrubbing with scourers and brushes, followed by a thorough rinse and wipe down.

Depending on our water usage, the chlorine will take three or four days to pass through our water pipes, after which we can drink water directly from the tap. It will be the first time in quite a few years.

As for the system, we’ve gone for a pre-filter and a UV filter. Even after the water has sat in our main header tank up the hill, it still deposits a large amount of sediment so the pre-filter is a must. The UV filter will deal with the coliform bacteria that tests founds in our supply.

We didn’t have an acidity correction filter fitted as the pH came back as seven. The advantage of not needing the acidity correction filter is that the cost, including VAT, came in below the £800 limit of the local council water supply improvement grant.

The filters are fitted between the supply pipe and the loft header tank so that, in the event of an electricity failure, we can close the stop-cock and still have sufficient drinking water for several days stored in the loft. It also means we have clean water if the supply pipe freezes.

The final stage in the process of getting the system in and paid for is for us to pay GRC Aquatech (on our credit card), then ask Aberdeenshire Council to send an officer out to inspect the installation and take a water sample for testing.

When we have a clean test result and a receipt, we can ask the council to reimburse us for the cost of the installation and that’s it, job done.

One thing I did find surprising when talking to the fitter was that many people won’t get filtration systems fitted, even though the basic pre-filter and UV filter system comes in below the grant ceiling. He said his employers and the council constantly tell people on private water supplies about the grants but there’s little interest in the quality of the household water supply—even though it’s a legal requirement to have private water supplies tested when selling a house.

Why would someone turn down a grant that would give them a clean water supply at no cost to them? Beats me, so I’ll just make a cup of chlorine-scented tea while I muse on the strangeness of folks.

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