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Saving water in the workplace

Saving water in the workplace

Wherever you work and whatever your business, there will be ways that you can save water. 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 pounds
  • 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 If you are replacing outdated equipment, using a control device can reduce water consumption by 70 per cent by ensuring that flushing stops when the premises are not in use.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 more than 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 per cent 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 (for example 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.

Learn more about leaks

More ways to save water