Can a business stay open without running water? For the most part, no, it is not reasonable, or in some cases legal, to run a business without working or running water, especially in sectors that would require cleaning of any kind.

Different industries have various water demands and, for the majority, a disrupted water supply will lead to operational standstill. While in some office settings, it may be appropriate to run things without water, most businesses should try to make sure that water is running, or in supply.

With that being said, in most cases, it is not illegal, so if you go to your place of work and there is no water for some reason you cannot always demand that this is resolved.

There are also situations in which a loss of water is unavoidable, and businesses may find themselves in a grey area as to whether they should open.

As a general guide, we will highlight some of the situations you may find your business in, and how to properly address them.

Temporary Loss Of Water

How long can a business stay open without running water? This depends on the business. A construction site, which relies on both water and wastewater systems may only be able to remain open for a number of hours if the water goes off.

Thankfully this is not common and a temporary loss of water can be an intentional switch-off for maintenance work.

This means water will return to functionality when the maintenance or repair has been carried out.

If your water is out due to a burst pipe, then you may have a bigger problem on your hands. If it’s your own burst pipe you will have to bring on a plumber to get things fixed, as legislation requires at least working toilets. Burst pipes and leaks can rack up expensive water bills and other charges. Castle Water help Verulam School recover £13,000 from its water network retailer following a leak.

Long Term Or Permanent Loss Of Water

If there is a long-term issue that will affect your business's water supply, including the toiletries of your premises, then you will have to resolve it.

If there is long term work happening that will stop your employees from accessing toiletries you may have to arrange an alternative option. You need to provide drinking water as well so you may have to find alternative ways to source drinkable water.

Contingency Planning

For certain businesses loss of water, whether it be temporary or long term, is not an option. These businesses are known as sensitive sites and are the worst impact by water outages, for example, hospitals, medical centres, and veterinary clinics.

Contingency planning is essential to prevent downtime when unexpected water shortages occur. Make sure to check with your water supplier what emergency water services are available for your business and whether they deliver emergency water.

Does my business need plumbing?

If you have no plumbing and work somewhere that requires drinking water and toilets, you will have to source them alternatively.

You will not necessarily have to get plumbing installed but will need to have drinking water from bottles and toiletry and cleaning facilities available through portaloos, for example.

Do Employers Have To Supply Water?

Yes, you have to provide drinkable water as well as toiletries, however, this does not have to come through plumbing.

As per legislation, water is essential for wellbeing, but it does not have to be running water. However, it is advisable to have running water as alternatives are often more costly.

There are also unavoidable situations, like shutoffs for maintenance, where a business may not be able to reasonably run, but they should be notified beforehand.

Expert Assistance From Castle Water

We offer great rates on water and have worked with thousands of companies across the UK, but where we really stand out is our award-winning customer support.

Switch to Castle Water and we will help make sure you know exactly what to do if your water goes out on either a short-term or long-term basis and support you to minimise costs and get your business back up and running again.

Click here to contact us if you would like to learn more or see our past work for reference.

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