Summer savers - reducing water demand

By Eleanor Bailey

When the weather is great (even if the rain comes back again!) it’s important to think about how we all use water. The recent hot weather combined with more people working from home has meant an increase in water use, putting pressure on resources. There’s enough water for everyone, but getting it where it needs to be can sometimes be a challenge and cause water pressure issues if we’re all using a lot at once. So it’s helpful for everyone – including businesses – to find ways to use water wisely, both to ease demand and to save some money!

Here’s some quick tips from us on how you can reduce your business water use quicker than you’d think:

Check for leaks

Checking to make sure your equipment and facilities that use water aren’t leaking or dripping is an easy way to save water. Aside from obvious pouring problems, a simple leaky loo or dripping tap is quite literally pouring money down the drain and can add up to quite a lot of wasted water!

For small leaks:

•    In toilets, check that the cistern isn’t leaking and buttons on dual-flush loos aren’t stuck. Stuck buttons can waste 250 litres of water an hour!
•    Dripping taps can often be quickly fixed – simply by fixed by fitting a new washer.

For big leaks:

•    Often, leaks occur underground and go unnoticed but can waste incredible amounts of water and money.
•    Making a point of regularly reading your water meter will help you to notice any sudden or unexpected increases in usage – which can point to a leak at your business site.
•    Other signs include: damp patches in or outside your business, lush vegetation during a dry spell, or leaking overflow systems.

It’s worth knowing where your supply pipes run and where the shut off valves at your business so, if there is a water leak on site, you can shut down your water supply and isolate issues. You can also check your meters at night, or when no water is being used to monitor leakage. 

To be sure you’re leak-free or to fix any leaks, keep in mind our leak detection and repair service.

Employee awareness

Speak to your employees to encourage them to think about how they use water at your business, and let them know you’re trying to reduce water wastage. It’s of course still important to encourage regular hand-washing and to adhere to health guidelines and government information, particularly during this time, but simple actions like: only running the office dishwasher when it’s full (and on an eco-setting), being sure not to leave the tap on after use, using the water cooler instead of running the tap, and reporting any drips and leaks can all go some way towards reducing demand.

If you’ve got vehicles as part of your operation, then consider how you could recycle the water you use for washing these too.

Make use of rainwater

Have you ever considered using rainwater in your business? Collecting it is free and fitting a water butt is a great low-cost substitute for grey-water purposes like cleaning and plant watering. Speaking of watering plants…

Cut back on watering

Grass areas at your business make a lovely addition to your work environment but watering them from the tap isn’t lovely for your bill. Watering the business grounds you have could use thousands of litres a day. Plus, everyone doing it at once can put pressure on resources. Did you know – hosepipes and sprinklers use more water in one hour than a family of four will use in a day?

Unless you’ve got newly laid or seeded lawn, you don’t actually need to worry about watering it too much. Lawns are much better at handling a lack of water than we are and will be just fine if you cut down on the sprinkling. Trigger guns on hoses will also help to limit water use, and if you’re landscaping try to select plants and shrubs that are tolerant of dry conditions.

Consider investing in water efficiency

Whether you’re due some brand new equipment or just want to make your current assets more efficient, an investment in water-saving equipment will quickly pay for itself and help you reduce bills. You can immediately make your taps, toilets and showers cost less and save 20-30% of everyday water use just by installing the right water efficiency devices!

Find out more about water efficiency devices here.

Further information

Did you find this article useful? Why not check out our summer water saving do's and don'ts for more ideas.

If you’re interested in how else you can make your business more water efficient, visit our proactive water management page. 

You can also find out more about how you can reduce the impact your business has on the environment on our Sustain and Gain campaign pages.

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