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Water efficiency advice

Whatever your business, small changes to how you use water in the workplace can make a big difference to help us to keep the water flowing this summer.

Here’s some great water saving tips for business customers.

  1. Introduce water saving information, employee suggestions scheme or arrange a water efficiency session to increase awareness of the importance of using water wisely.

  2. 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

  3. 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 £’s.

    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  If you are replacing outdated equipment, using a control device can reduce water consumption by 70% by ensuring that flushing stops when the premises are not in use.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 litre and three litres per flush. You can also convert many syphons to dual flush.

    Leaking toilets – Modern dual flush (button operated) toilets can leak due to sticky buttons or passing valves. This can waste over 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% and shower timers help remind people to take shorter showers

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 indications 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 (e.g. 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.

Free Save a flush cistern bags

To help businesses in our region reduce water use at their offices and other premises Yorkshire Water is offering free Save a Flush cistern bags.  Simply drop a Save a Flush in each toilet cistern* and reduce your cistern by 1.2 litres, saving this much water with every flush.

*Please note: Save-a-Flush bags are not suitable for dual flush toilets, or for cisterns with a capacity of less than 7 litres. If you install a Yorkshire Water Save a Flush bag and find you have to flush the toilet more than once, please remove the bag from the cistern as you may already have a low flush toilet.

If your business is based in the Yorkshire region, and you would like to request some Save a Flush bags, please contact your Water Retailer and let them know how many you would like.

Retailers, when you receive a request please submit an F4 form so that our Wholesale Service Desk can get this processed.

Your staff can also fit water saving devices in their homes by ordering a free water saving pack.

Please ask any employees, who are Yorkshire Water customers, to order a pack through our website or we can provide you with water saving leaflets including a freepost returns coupon for you to distribute to your employees to order a pack for their home.

Download this handy advice and display it in key areas of your business - click here