The Isle of Wight Community Club – known previously as the Plessey Club - in Cowes has big plans for diverting and recycling water at the club.
The club hopes to capture rainwater from its extensive roof – thought to cover about 1,700 square metres - and divert it for other uses including flushing toilets and watering planters in and around the club. The club says the plans would help the club reduce its water bills and stop the car park from flooding while also helping to alleviate pressure on sewers.
Members and volunteers from the club invited Bob Seely MP and Southern Water to the club to discuss their plans.
Bob Seely MP said: “I was delighted to meet with members of the Isle of Wight Community Club to discuss their plans for storing and diverting water away from sewers. They are a great bunch of people looking to make a difference to both their club and the environment. I commend them for their innovative ideas.
“There is a lot of work being done by Southern Water off the back of the Environment Bill to invest money into the system and reduce storm overflows and I was pleased to discuss this with club members.
“When the Environment Bill was going through, I persuaded Southern Water to make the Island an example of national best practice for reducing storm overflows and cleaning up our environment.
“This means the Island has been amongst the first to trial solutions such as water butts and sustainable drainage systems. The work Southern Water is doing can deliver many benefits in both reducing storm overflows and helping the community meet their needs, which is what I discussed last week with the club members.
“Southern Water has allocated £230 million to the Island’s sewage network so they are able to deliver 11,000 more water butts, 9,000 sustainable drainage systems, improvements to 550 driveways and 3,100 sustainable roadside rain gardens.
“I would encourage all homeowners, schools, businesses and organisations to consider working with Southern Water to look at how they could collect and divert rainwater off their rooves and away from sewers. I thank the Isle of Wight Community Club for getting involved in this scheme and I hope to catch up with them again soon to see how they are getting on with their plans once the building and surrounding area has been properly scoped out.”
Laura Moran, Pathfinder Project Manager (West) for the Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force, Southern Water said: “We were pleased to meet with members of the Isle of Wight Community Club last week to discuss how we could help them with their plans. There is the potential to install storage tanks around the building, large planters and a swale in the car park to reduce flooding.
“In Cowes, we are already doing lots of work to slow the flow of water entering our sewers. On Market Hill, we’ve installed a new flap valve to reduce tidal infiltration into the pumping station and on Terminus Road we’ve redesigned the chamber so that the water coming in doesn’t overwhelm the system.
“Our engineers have also been installing slow-drain water butts in people’s gardens to act as temporary water storage tanks to relieve the pressure on the sewers during heavy rainfall. Alongside this, we’re also installing planters and other sustainable drainage systems such as highways schemes including swales and in-road raingardens, which we’re currently exploring the feasibility of, to help reduce flooding and pollution.”
Southern Water will now scope out the project to see how they can help the club to deliver their plans.
Keiron Kirkpatrick, Club Secretary, said: “We know that we have huge opportunities here at the club to do things differently.
“Our building is huge – it houses a huge indoor bowls rink and bar - so we know there is a lot of potential here.
“We want to do what we can to keep our bills down while making improvements to our club and the environment.
“We are grateful to our MP and Southern Water for meeting with us to discuss how we can take our plans forward and we look forward to seeing what solutions Southern Water come up with.”
The club is located on Park Road in Cowes and is open every day from 11:00am until 11:00pm providing a warm space and daily activities including dancing sessions, bingo, bridge, bowls, crafts, darts, choir and more.