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Another award for Swaffham hotel

PUBLISHED: 11:31 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 11:12 08 July 2010

An innovative water saving and flood alleviation project at one of the county's top boutique hotels has helped it scoop a prestigious award.

Thanks to a new water harvesting system Strattons Hotel in Swaffham now recycles more than 200,000 litres or waste water every year and is safe from the threat of flash flooding.

AN innovative water-saving and flood alleviation project at one of the county's top boutique hotels has helped it scoop a prestigious award.

Thanks to a new water harvesting system Strattons Hotel at Swaffham now recycles more than 200,000 litres or waste water every year and is safe from the threat of flash flooding.

The achievement, which has saved the business money as well as adding to its already high eco standards, helped Strattons scoop the Excellence in Innovation Award at this year's HRS Hotel Excellence Awards.

The awards recognise best practice in the hotel industry and aim to encourage others to adopt similar approaches.

Judges said Strattons was "a well-deserved winner," and the hotel had "demonstrated an extremely innovative way of turning the challenge of adverse flood conditions into an opportunity."

The hotel collects water from its kitchen and restaurant, water butts and rainwater harvesting system with the amount collected equating to 33pc of the 10 room venue's total water usage.

The business does not use any mains water for outside jobs and in 2008 obtained a rebate from the local water company for eliminating surface water into the mains drainage.

Strattons director Vanessa Scott said work to improve the hotel's water collection has been done for practical as well as environmental reasons.

She said: "We operate out of a listed grade II Palladian building with a semi-basement area that is prone to flooding.

"This problem was exacerbated by the fact that over the years rain and surface water drainage pipes had been plumbed into the main drainage system.

"On one occasion a flash flood backed up the town drains and the restaurant was flooded with foul water."

In 2008 the whole of the front garden at Strattons was redeveloped and work included incorporating two rainwater harvesting tanks which now back up a re-commissioned 10,000 litre Victorian tank.

These tanks collect surface water from around the building and reduce flood risk.

The recovered water is used for irrigation within the site, and between May and September 2008 Strattons collected 18,144 litres of rain water to grow over £1,000 of salad crops entirely irrigated from its water harvesting system.

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