This article looks at how UK businesses can save water in the workplace by reducing day-to-day consumption and implementing water reuse strategies to reduce bills and improve environmental performance.
The article examines why businesses should consider saving water and simple steps that can be taken to achieve this. It goes on to give a number of simple recommendations that can be taken to reduce water bills and become eco-friendlier.
Reducing consumption to save water and the environment
The last couple of years have been challenging for many businesses. Companies across the UK are looking at ways to cut their bills and make their businesses run more efficiently. One of the factors which is commonly overlooked is savings on water bills. Saving water can have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line, but will also help the business become more environmentally friendly too.
The types of changes and water conservation measures will obviously depend on the nature and scale of your operation. However, there are some general tips which can be applied to any business with the aim of reducing your water consumption – and your water bills.
Why should businesses save water?
For many businesses the most obvious benefit to saving water is reducing the volume of water used. This can help will reduce both your water bills and your energy bills.
Drinking water is an increasingly precious resource, and using it carefully is better for the environment as a whole.
Many of us don’t realise that the process of collecting, processing and supplying water to homes and businesses uses a huge amount of energy, so cutting consumption will also help reduce greenhouse gases.
For most small and medium-sized businesses, they use water in much the same way as a domestic home. The bulk of their use comes from cleaning, washing hands, or flushing toilets. Many of the key ways we’ve identified to reduce water usage in businesses involve changing infrastructure or employee mindset.
The key measures we have identified to help water conservation in business settings are:
Monitoring water consumption
The first step in trying to reduce water consumption is to establish how much you’re currently using. Installing smart meters can give lots of information about where, when and how you are using water, and help you identify where you can make savings.
Keeping records of water consumption over time can also help you quickly identify patterns if bills start to creep up.
Checking the efficiency of equipment that uses water
Old equipment, or equipment which is poorly maintained can mean you are using more water than you might be. Think about getting some equipment or facilities experts in to perform a water audit and come up with a maintenance schedule to keep things in tip-top condition. They will also be able to advise on the latest water-saving gadgets on the market, and other energy-saving solutions such as better insulation, solar power, heat pumps etc.
Avoid half-loads in dishwashers and washing machines
One of the biggest users of water in a domestic or small business environment is dishwasher and similar appliances. Save water by making sure you have a full load before switching it on. The same principle applies to other appliances you might have in the business which run more efficiently when full.
Water friendly gardening and landscaping
Businesses want to create a good first impression, and many spend a fortune on water-intensive landscape gardening. Consider alternative ways of creating the same effect while cutting your overall water usage. This doesn’t mean replacing everything with concrete; just looking for plants and displays which are less water intensive than traditional planting.
Consider wastewater savings
New wastewater technologies make the reuse of “grey water” from business processes or rainwater harvesting a real possibility. Fitting a water butt to collect rainwater could store around 200 litres of water, which can then be used on the garden, with the right precautions.
Put a water saving device in each toilet cistern and you could save anything between one and three litres each time someone flushes. Check for leaks and deal promptly with dripping taps.
Get employees on-board with your water saving initiatives
A successful water-saving programme has to be a team effort. Explaining what you’re trying to achieve and why will help all employees understand why you are making changes. It’s usually a good idea to nominate one member of staff to take charge of the water saving efforts, and to give staff feedback regularly about the levels of savings achieved.
Consider switching water suppliers
Domestic consumers are advised to switch suppliers regularly to ensure they are getting the best deal on their utilities, and the same advice applies to business owners of all shapes and sizes.
Back in 2017, the UK business water market was deregulated and if you’ve been sticking with the same supplier for years, you could be getting a better deal elsewhere.
Remember that the cheapest water prices might not necessarily be the best deal overall for your business; look also at what suppliers can offer in terms of water-saving technology, smart meters, billing, alternative tariffs and customer service. Most water experts estimate that UK businesses can save at least 20% on their current water bills by shopping around.
Specialist water re-use solutions for business
Water Treatment Services offer a comprehensive range of innovative water and wastewater solutions for business.
Our experts can provide advice and support to help you identify the most appropriate strategies for the identification, investigation and implementation water saving and reuse programmes.
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained engineers and wastewater treatment specialists we offer cost effective environmental support solutions across the whole of the UK and internationally.
Contact us today to learn how our water reuse solutions can help optimise your water consumption to reduce costs and improve environmental performance.
More information about our resource and water optimisation solutions.