How Businesses Can Save On Water

Filling up a glass with drinking water from kitchen tap

The past year has been tough for all businesses but even more so for small and medium companies that have, in some cases, been unable to open for months on end.

It’s only natural that many business owners have been looking to reduce their costs to get back on their feet or try to put money aside for a rainy day.

In today’s post, we share a few tips on how businesses can save money when it comes to water. All businesses have to use water one way or another, whether you’re running an office or a manufacturing factory, so that everyone can make savings.

Reducing your water usage

This can seem like common sense, but reducing how much water your business uses will have a positive impact on your bills. That being said, most business owners don’t know where to start.

The easiest way to begin the process is with a full audit to understand how your business uses water, which will then help you identify areas of opportunities that could be improved. 

Once you have an idea of how water is used in your business, you will need to set KPIs (key performance indicators) to have a target to achieve and measure whether any measures put in place are having the expected effects. Usually, these would be measured over a week or month as an average.

The third step is to formulate a plan to achieve your KPIs and increase water efficiency, which will see your costs reduced. This could involve:

  • Reducing how much water is used
  • Finding an alternative to using water
  • Considering alternative water sources (i.e. rainfall, surface water)
  • Considering whether water is required in specific cases
  • Reusing water where possible
  • Recycling water for another activity requiring water
  • Disposing of water responsibly and safely

Whatever your solutions of choice are, don’t forget to involve your staff and make sure that every team member is aware of any new measures or trained to use new equipment. If the whole team isn’t fully aware or committed, it will be much more difficult to see improvements.

Reducing trade effluent charges

Trade effluent is all liquid waste that is discharged from business premises into the sewer system due to business activities. Note that this doesn’t include water from kitchen sinks or toilets, which is considered regular sewage – meaning businesses like cafés or hotels won’t have to pay these kinds of charges.

It is illegal to discharge effluent into the sewers without the appropriate consent, and potentially hazardous chemicals are not allowed to be disposed of this way. Specialists waste contractors must be used to safely and legally dispose of waste of this nature. Your water retailer can help you with all aspects of trade effluent, including reducing how much wastewater you are discharging into the sewers, hence reducing the charges that your business has to pay. You can find more information about these types of services here:

Finding a cheaper tariff

Not all businesses realise this, but the water market has been open to competition since 2008 in Scotland and 2017 in England, so you can choose who your water supplier is.

The local network is still being managed by the traditional water wholesalers (i.e. Thames Water, Scottish Water) for physical maintenance, but water retailers are the ones managing the services and bills for businesses and liaising with wholesalers.

This means that you could look around at different business water retailers and see if one of them could offer you a more competitive quote so you can save in the long term.

Keep in mind that tariffs are only one part of the equation and that some additional services such as automated meter readings or smart water meters can also help you save on bills overall.