We are currently awaiting renewal of the required licenses from the Environment Agency for this project to be delivered. We are in dialogue with The EA Water Resources team and foresee no problems with renewal, but no funds will be transferred to the project until all required licenses have been officially confirmed.
We want to sink a borehole to supply ground water to the system of stand pipes and dip tanks which we currently use to water the plots. Thames Water introduced a ban on the use of hosepipes approx. eight years ago. Since then, plot holders have had to use watering cans to water their plots. During hot weather plants need lots of water and carrying heavy watering cans any distance can be very difficult, particularly for older and more infirm plot holders.
The new borehole will mean that all plot holders can use a hosepipe for watering, instead of having to carry heavy watering cans around the site.
What we'll deliver:
- Sink a borehole with a pump to serve the water system around the allotment site
- Install a hose outlet at each dip tank/ stand pipe
- Install a monitoring and control system within the trading hut
Why it's a great idea:
Being able to use a hosepipe will benefit all growers, enabling us to water plants more easily and be more productive. It will particularly help anyone, young or old, who struggles to lift heavy watering cans. For many of our older plot holders this should enable them to garden more easily, thus enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits of communal gardening for longer than would otherwise be the case.
Using ground water on plants has environmental benefits. There is a plentiful supply of ground water in London and it is much greener to use this than using filtered drinking water as at present. The plants prefer it too!
It will allow the more efficient use of allotment land allowing the freeing up of space for planned site developments centred on increasing the biodiversity of the site and reducing the long waiting list following the Covid pandemic.
Finally, the borehole will provide a financial payback to the Council (via reduced water bills) for years to come.
Steps to get it done:
- Renew Environment Agency consent - stage 1 (from October 21)
- Retender contract to sink borehole (October - November 21)
- Complete crowdfunding successfully (December 21)
- Contractor sinks borehole (March 21)
- Finalise any Environment Agency requirements - consent stage 2 (March/ April 21)
- Switch from mains supply to borehole water for watering (April 21)
- Complete any ancillary works e.g. hose connectors on stand pipes (April/ May 21)
This is a well-researched proposal, with part funding in place. It has been developed in partnership with Ealing Parks department, who support it on grounds of improving accessibility for plot holders, environmental sustainability and financial payback.
The Parks team obtained Environment Agency permission to proceed in 2019 and are in the process of renewing this. The Management Group have been saving and fund raising for 5 years towards the borehole, however when the work was tendered in Nov 20 there was still a funding gap so we couldn't proceed.
We have consulted plot holders as we have developed the proposal, including written consultation in 2020 translated into community languages.
We know there is an underground water supply in the area as the nearby Pitshanger allotments and golf course have installed boreholes and are enjoying the benefits.
Future plans for Brentham include starting a Wildlife Group and offering small, starter plots to people on our waiting list.