Advice on water efficiency for farmers

editorial image

Northern Ireland Water would like to remind the farming community about how they can save money in their next bill by checking water meters on a regular basis.

With spring upon us and cattle now going outside to graze in the milder weather, turning the supply to the trough off at the meter can help reduce bills.

Gary Curran, NI Water’s Head of Metering and Billing says: “Over 60% of NI Water’s non domestic customers are farms. Water is the single most important requirement for livestock.

“On a dairy farm, livestock drinking water may account for between 50% and 75% of the farm’s water usage so it makes sense to look after it. The farming community can look after their water supply by checking out these tips.”

- Ensure that you have good understanding of the layout of pipework within your land and keep a map of the line of this pipework;

- Have a supply of the relevant fittings to repair any leakages;

- Know where your meters are located (NI Water will help you to do this) and check them on a regular basis. A higher reading may indicate a leak which should be located and repaired as quickly as possible to reduce your water bills.

- Inspect remote troughs which may not be used at this time of year, particularly the exposed pipe leading into the trough; if cattle are inside consider turning the supply to the trough off at the meter or installing a stop valve for the trough (or field) so you turn off the supply without having to do so at the meter. Consider draining troughs;

- Where practical ensure all underground pipes are buried 750 millimetres (2½ feet) below ground level.

- Fix dripping taps

- Know where your stop valves are located; NI Water can provide stop valve tags by emailing waterline@niwater.com

Another way of saving water around the farm is simply collecting or ‘harvesting’ rainwater.

This could be as simple as having a water butt. Rainwater can be used as an alternative water supply, for example in washing vehicles, washing windows and watering plants.

For more information email waterline@niwater.com