Water, like any other resource, costs money to use – and if you are on a meter, which most businesses are, then reducing usage will also reduce costs, as well as creating a more sustainable business.
Areas of water use:
- Car wash – If you have this facility it is likely to be the main user of water on site.
- Taps – a left on tap can use 1,000 litres of water an hour.
Just as with energy, the seven step action plan is directly relevant to water usage. Step 1 – appoint an appropriate person to drive water management, then follow the other steps, develop a water use policy, identify meters and invoices, monitor water use, conduct regular walkabouts to check water use, implement water saving measures and engage with staff and the public to raise awareness, get feedback and encourage action.
It is important to try to fix any leaks as soon as possible to reduce wastage. Hot water issues should be tackled first, as hot water can cost up to 10 times the cost of cold water.
No cost measures
- Turn taps off when not in use.
- Make staff aware of the cost of wasting water.
Low cost measures
- Fit on/off nozzles or triggers to hoses
- Collect and use rain-water where possible.
- Fit self-closing taps
- Fit aerators to taps, to restrict water flow
- Use displacement devices in toilet cisterns
- Fit dual-flush toilets (can retro-fit, or when updating system put new ones in).
- Set urinals so they do not waste water, eg so they only flush with usage.
Higher cost measures
- Use a water re-use system in the car wash.
Ensure hazardous waste does not leak and cause contamination to water supplies. There can be fines and penalties for water contamination. Keep containers sealed and ensure no leaks or spills. If accidents do happen clean them up as soon as possible and report them, if necessary. Fit interceptors onto drainage systems if dealing with trade effluent or if you have petrol/diesel refuelling system on site. Ensure those inceptors are regularly maintained.