"If you cannot measure and record water flow and consumption you cannot effectively reduce it."
And that's a fact!
The first step to saving water and saving your business money is working out how much water you’re actually using, if you’re wasting any and where you’re wasting it. Water consumption analysis can provide you with all the information you need to take action as appropriate. Knowledge is power, as they say.
Here’s what you can do as a business to help reduce the amount of water you use and waste, which will have a positive knock-on effect for the UK’s water resources as well as helping you to reduce your energy bills into the bargain.
The first step towards saving money on water bills and reducing water consumption is to have a water audit carried out to compare your water use (including volumes) with what you’re being charged for.
This will reveal any discrepancies that could have resulted in you being overcharged, as well as allowing your water consultancy firm to make any recommendations for where water usage can be reduced in order to lower costs.
Once an audit has been conducted, you could potentially see a 30 per cent drop in charges for your water supply and waste water disposal.
How to reduce water wastage
If an audit does reveal that you’re wasting water, there is a lot you can do as a business to address the issue.
A quick and easy way of making an immediate impact is by encouraging staff members to report any dripping taps and leaks they find. A broken or leaking tap can cost your company hundreds of pounds a year in water and sewerage costs, but repairs needn’t be complicated, time-consuming or expensive.
Also advising people not to leave taps running unnecessarily can do a lot to reduce the amount that is wasted, as well.
Beyond that, companies can consider the likes of water leak detection and repair, rainwater harvesting, water recycling and so on. You may also find that switching water supplier could save you money by finding you better tariffs.
AMR - How tech can help AMP
Automated meter reading (AMR) is a technique used to monitor water usage continuously across a site, also known as data logging. It means that any issues can be identified quickly and water-saving solutions adjusted as a business’s requirements change over time.
A smart meter will be installed on your site so that you can see how much water is being used on site at hourly intervals by measuring the water flow. If a sudden spike is seen, you know there may well be a problem and this can then be identified and any action taken quickly.
If data trends change over time, you will know that the demands of your business have changed and efficiency strategies can be adjusted accordingly to ensure that your savings are kept at the optimum level.
You will also be able to benchmark your different sites’ water usage against each other, as well as other similar sized businesses, in order to see how your usage could be improved, if this is necessary.
Smart meters and water leak detection
AMR technology is particularly useful where the detection of water leaks is concerned. The majority of water suppliers will charge an average of £3 per cubic metre for water supplied to and wastewater taken away from a company, which will quickly add up if there is a leak.
But smart meter installation means that you no longer have to wait for the physical signs of a leak to be spotted before you can take action. Setting a benchmark for expected water flow means that you can spot the warning signs of a leak if a sudden spike in data is registered.
Automated alerts can also be set up for if and when water flow rises by a certain percentage above average.