Saving water in the workplace

Whatever your business, small changes to how you use water in the workplace can make a big difference to your overall consumption. 

Here are some great water saving tips for businesses:

Staff awareness

Introduce water saving information, employee suggestion schemes or arrange a water efficiency session to increase awareness of the importance of using water wisely.


In the kitchen or canteen

  • Use a dishwasher instead of washing up plates and mugs separately – and make sure it is full before switching it on
  • If washing by hand run a bowl of water rather than let it run to waste down the plug
  • A water cooler will give employees direct access to cold water rather than having to run a tap, or keep jugs/refillable bottles of cold water in the fridge


In the toilets and showers

  • Taps - a dripping tap can waste a lot of water. It’s often just a simple washer which will cost pennies to change but save you £s.
  • Urinal flushing - uncontrolled urinals can waste hundreds of litres per hour. If you are replacing outdated equipment, using a control device can reduce water consumption by 70% by ensuring that flushing stops when the premises are not in use. Waterless urinals are also available.
  • Toilet flushing - older toilets can use up to 13 litres per flush. If you have an older cistern, try a water saving device such as a 'Hippo' or a 'Save-a-Flush' bag. This will save between one and three litres per flush. You can also convert many cisterns to dual flush.
  • Leaking toilets – modern dual flush (button operated) toilets can leak due to sticky buttons or passing valves. This can waste over 250 litres an hour. Check all toilets for leaks – you can usually see a trickle of water running down the back of the pan.
  • Showers – modern, efficient showerheads can help reduce water use by up to 50% and shower timers help remind people to take shorter showers


Outside

Large quantities of water can be wasted on grounds maintenance, particularly during the summer months.

  • Hosepipes and sprinklers – these can use 1000 litres per hour so keep landscape irrigation watering to a minimum. Grass is a great survivor and doesn’t need watering. Fitting a trigger nozzle to a hosepipe ensures water stops flowing as soon as it is released.
  • Water butts - consider collecting rainwater in a tank or butt and using it for watering plants and shrubs. When landscaping try to select plants and shrubs that are tolerant of dry conditions.


Cleaning

  • Vehicle washing – try to reduce your vehicle washing activities. When washing vehicles or equipment consider recycling the water.
  • Window cleaning – Look for opportunities to reduce or prioritise window cleaning activities


Familiarise yourself with plumbing arrangements

  • Meters - find and regularly read your meters and sub meters. Make someone responsible for reading meters either weekly or monthly. A marked increase in water usage may indicate a leak.
  • Watch out for leaks - checking for leaks is something every customer should do regularly.


Some tell-tale signs to help you spot leaks

  • Damp patches in or outside the property
  • Lush vegetation in dry periods may be an indication of leaking pipes
  • Leaking overflow systems


Metered customers – diagnosing a leak

If your meter reading or bill is unusually high it may indicate you have a leak. You can use your meter to check if you have a leak on the pipework after the meter:

  • Turn off all taps
  • Find your water meter and take a reading (including the red digits)
  • Do not use any water for a length of time (e.g. overnight)
  • Read the meter again

If the second reading is higher than the first there may be a leak.

Many businesses now have smart technology that allows them to monitor and get data on water usage at regular intervals. This can help identify abnormal or unusual usage such as a leak. Regular monitoring means any such anomalies can be quickly investigated.


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