a young boy playing in a paddling pool outside
Supply and pipes
Understanding, reducing and adopting best practice with your water usage can save your business money, help you avoid costly repairs and reduce your carbon footprint.

How to save water

Understanding, reducing and adopting best practice with your water usage can save your business money, help you avoid costly repairs and reduce your carbon footprint. A win-win-win situation. With this in mind, we’ve devised a three-step process to help you measure your water use, minimise your waste and maintain the results.

Before you start making long-term savings you need to understand how much water your business is using. The following checks will give you a clear idea on your water use.

Locate your water meter

Taking regular readings will help you spot any unexpected increases in usage and identify any issues.

Review your recent water bills

It pays to carefully track your bills to see if they’re going up or down.

Identify where you’re using water

Note down all the key areas of water use – inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs

Check key areas of water use

Look for any leaking toilet valves, overflowing urinals and dripping taps. Amazingly, a small leak of just six litres per minute adds up to £8000 a year.

Speak to your team

Ask your employees about their own water use and see if they have any great water saving ideas of their own.  

Once you’ve worked out how much water your business is using it’s time to identify ways to save. Here are a few ways we’ve helped other businesses reduce their bills.

Finding and fixing leaks

Take a thorough look at both your supply pipes (those between your building and water meter) and distribution pipes (those that take water around your building). Be sure to check all stop taps too.

Prepare for winter

Burst or frozen pipes can cause your business major headaches and costs. Ensure all your pipes and tanks are lagged well in advance of winter and insulate hot water pipes to retain heat and save even more money.

Install water efficient devices

Have you got flush bags in your toilets? Do your taps have flow regulators? Are you using water efficient showerheads? If not, installing these devices will quickly save your business water and money. What’s more, if your business pays corporation tax you may qualify for the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme.

Educate your employees

The most effective way to reduce your water is ensuring your employees are doing their part. Make sure water issues and leaks are clearly communicated internally and place posters around your building to encourage water saving behaviour.

Did you know?

The Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme  provides tax relief on water efficient products for business that pay corporation tax.

Short-term wins are great, however long-term change should always be your goal. Here are a few top tips to help you keep cutting your business costs and reduce your water usage.

Set up a maintenance programme

Now you’re aware of your water usage, keep a regular check on taps, toilets and pipework to identify leaks early.

Monitor your usage

Continue to calculate your average daily usage to see if you’ve reduced your water consumption. If you have, be sure to communicate this to your employees and thank them for their efforts.

Check your energy bills

It’s not just your water bills you’ll reduce with good water usage, so be sure to see if there’s been a positive effect on your energy bills too.

Celebrate your success

Share your success with your employees and community through a Corporate Social Responsibility Report. If you’ve seen some amazing savings you may even wish to enter your business for an Environment Agency Water Efficiency Award.

How to make your business water efficient

Live and breathe water efficiency

We’ve seen businesses that adopt water efficiency best practice enjoy savings of up to 30%.

Identify usage increases

An increase in use could indicate a leak or process problem. The more you monitor, the quicker you’ll fix the issue.

Get your employees involved

Encouraging your people to change their habits, report problems and share ideas will have an immediate impact on your water usage.

Check your competition

Benchmarking your water usage against similar businesses, as well as your other sites, gives a quick indication of your efficiency. You can see a few examples in the table below.

Sector Units Typical usage
Hotels m3 per bed space per year 30m3
Offices m3 per m2 per year 0.6m3
Restaurants m3 per cover per year 0.05m3
Retails outlets m3 per m2 per year 0.6m3
Paper production m3 per tonne 22.5m3
Colleges/universities m3 per m2 per year 0.6m3
Frozen fruit/veg production m3 per tonne