Winning with water – the quick way to save your sports club money

By Tim Sewell

Sport England report that water bills are one of the top 10 costs for sports club….. we can help cut that cost

Water bills are a Top 10 cost contributor. 54%25 of clubs haven't undertaken any specific measures to reduce costs*. Water is a great place to startWhen you’re involved in running a local sports club having more money to spend on the fun stuff, like equipment for the sport you love, is the ultimate ambition. All too often though it’s the dull everyday costs that seem to get in the way and spoil your fun.

Your water bill is definitely one of these and about as welcome as an own goal. But you’re not alone.  A recent survey by Sport England found that water bills are one of the top 10 significant costs for sports clubs*. This is hardly surprising when you think of all the ways you have to use water: watering pitches, washing equipment, lots of people taking showers, water used in catering and the bar… It all adds up very quickly. 

But there’s some great savings you can make on your water costs, which will make you more water efficient too. And don’t worry, we’re not saying you need to tell the very muddy front row of the rugby club they can’t have a shower!

Here’s our top tips on how you can get your club saving money.

1. Is your club paying the best price for your water?


Non-household water accounts, including sports clubs, in England and Scotland get their water retail services (like billing, meter reading and account management) from a water retail company like us. Your local water company still provides fresh water and takes away and treats wastewater, but it’s the retailer who sends you the bill and who you pay.

This all means you can speak to your retailer to make sure you’re on the best price and contract for your water usage, and it might mean there’s savings to be made.

2. Check your club isn’t paying too much for surface water and highways drainage.


This is the rain that falls on to your property and the surrounding area, which drains away into the sewers to eventually be cleaned and reused. As a sports club, there’s a fair chance some of your rain water is draining away on to grass areas - which means you can pay less! For amateur clubs there’s even concessionary schemes to help bring the costs down.

It’s best to get in touch with your water retailer and get them to help you to check all this out. You can also find out more in the help and support section of our website, on the Ofwat site (if you’re in England), and for Community Amateur Sports Clubs in Scotland there’s information about the exemption scheme on the mygov website

3. Invest in some water efficiency gadgets, they’re quick, cheap and an effective way to get going.


Water saving tap inserts reduce flow rate in your taps by half, down to 5 litres a minute compared to the standard 10 litres.

Fit flow control shower heads, which have a regulated flow rate of 8 litres per minute compared to a standard 15 litres per minute flow rate. You’ll save a lot of water and cost, but the rugby boys and girls will be just as clean.
Sensor control tap, flushmatic urinals, save a flush bag…. the list goes on. Not the most exciting sounding one we know, but they can really make a difference to your club. We’ve teamed up with Aqualogic as our official water efficiency product partner, who have a host of gadgets to help you hit the back of the net on water saving here.

4. Leaks, dripping taps or old hose pipes (with more water coming out of cracks than the end of the pipe!) - these and other water wasters can be more costly for your club than a leaky back four.


On average a leaking tap can waste up to 5,500 litres of water a year. Fix it and you’ll instantly save over £100.  Making sure all your water fixtures, fittings and equipment are working properly is an easy money saver.
A leak from a broken pipe you’re not aware of, because the water is seeping away unnoticed, is even worse. Once water has passed through the water meter it’s judged as having been used and you have to pay for it - even if it’s been lost from a leaking pipe.

Leaks can lead to a nasty surprise when the bill arrives and have a real impact on your club’s finances. So it’s important to keep an eye out for the condition of your pipes, for leaks and for wasted water.
The first tell-tale signs of a leak is an unexpected increase in your bill or higher than usual meter reading. If you think you have a leak we have some handy advice on how to investigate further and what you can then do about it here.

5. Your sports club is already one big team, so make the most of this to get everybody behind a water saving drive.


Make everyone at the club aware of what you have to spend on water, set a target for the saving you want to achieve, and let everyone know what you’ll spend the money you save on. It’s a sure fire way to get everyone to care about using a bit less water.

If you approach water efficiency and savings like a match – control the controllables, minimise your weaknesses, do your homework on what can work to your advantage and have a clear game plan for the team; you’re sure to be on to a winner.

Do you run a Scottish sports Club? Enter your sports club into our competition to be in with a chance of winning some water-saving devices for your changing facilities!

Please note: This competition has closed. Thank you to all those who sent in an entry. It’s been great to hear about the steps sports groups are taking and want to take to use less water and save money too.

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