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Make quick water savings

The price for water has increased in recent years due to increasing energy costs. These simple steps will help you to minimise your organisation’s water use and keep you in control of your costs.

Start to make quick water savings

The costs for water supply, treatment and disposal continue to rise because pumping and processing water are energy and carbon intensive processes – and the underlying cost of energy and carbon continue to increase. Almost every organisation in Scotland uses water in some way and these simple steps will minimise water use and keep decision makers in control of costs.

Read your water bill and find out where your water meter is

Roughly 90% of organisations in Scotland have water meters fitted, which means that they are paying for their water by the volume they use. Yet it is not uncommon to find decision makers who have assumed they are paying a fixed rate like their council tax, regardless of the amount of water used. So, if you are unsure, locate your meter and interrogate your bills - you may be surprised at just how much water is costing your organisation.

If your organisation’s water use is metered, make people aware of this

If you are paying for your water use by unit used, make sure to let people know. That knowledge is often sufficient to have a positive impact on behaviour and reduce the amount of water used across your organisation.

Use cold instead of hot water where possible

Hot water costs your organisation more than cold water – after all, you have to spend money on energy to heat and keep your hot water hot.  Often however, staff can be found using hot water when cold water would be just as effective, for example washing and rinsing equipment and floors. Identify situations where your organisation is using hot water and ask yourself if it is really necessary.

Carry out a ‘shut-down’ water survey to check for leaks that may not be immediately visible

Take a meter reading on Friday evening after everyone has left and then take another one on Monday morning before anyone arrives. If there is a major difference between the readings then you may have a leak that is costing you money that you didn’t know about.

Make sure checking for dripping taps is part of your maintenance schedule

Implementing a system by which people can report dripping taps and other water issues is also valuable. Quantifying the cost impact can be helpful too. For example, tell colleagues that a broken tap, even one that is only leaving a 3mm flow, is costing your organisation £752 every year (in water and sewerage costs). That will help reporting, particularly when the problem could be fixed with a simple washer or a tightening of fittings.

Fit water dams or volume reducers into WC cisterns

A single toilet flush can use anywhere between 6 and 13 litres of water. Installing water dams or volume reducers (often freely available from your water supplier) can bring savings of roughly 30% and even something as simple as adjusting the position of the ball float in the cistern can save roughly 10%.

Further Information

If you would like further advice and support on any of these cost-saving opportunities, please contact one of our resource efficiency advisors on 0808 808 2268 or contact us.

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