Recent summers have seen increasing strain being put on our water resources around the country. Depending on the weather and overall demand, there is always the potential for water restrictions in certain areas. No matter the season, businesses should always be looking to save money by using water more efficiently. This advice can help all year round, and especially in summer when water conservation is a key issue.

Turn off automatic flushes

For schools, or any organisation that may close for a summer holiday, it’s a good idea to turn off automatic flushes on urinals. This could save around 5,000 litres of water per urinal per week

Fit aerators to taps

Fitting aerators to your business water taps will help to control the amount of water that flows through the tap by mixing the water with air, without affecting the overall water pressure.

Replacing existing taps with timed, water saving push-taps can reduce the amount of excess usage and dripping. Automatic touch sensor taps are another option to conserve water and limit how much water is used each time.

Check for leaks in toilets

Summer is a good time to check for toilet leaks. To do this, put a few drops of food colouring into your toilet tank and leave for 20 minutes. If the colour shows up in the bowl, your tank is leaking, silently wasting up to 400 litres of water a day. The fix is most likely cheap and easy and will save your business money.

An alternative toilet leak test is to wipe the back of the bowl dry with toilet tissue. Then, place a new, dry sheet of toilet tissue across the back of the bowl. Leave it in place for up to three hours without using the toilet. If the paper is wet or torn after 3 hours – you have a leaky loo.

Check for bigger leaks

If you’re planning to close for a break during the summer, take a reading from your water meter at the beginning of the holiday and then another on your return. If you notice a large amount of water being consumed despite nobody being on site, there may be a leak somewhere on the property that needs to be attended to.

Sprinklers and watering

If your business has lawns, flowers or grass that need water, the best time to water them is in the early morning, when cooler temperatures and calm breezes keep evaporation to a minimum. If you can’t water in the morning, late afternoon is the next best time. Watering overnight may seem like a good idea to avoid evaporation, but having a wet lawn through the night can make it more susceptible to fungus and disease.

Sprinkler timers are also a good idea to limit the amount of water you use, as well as to ensure you’re not over-watering your grass. Sprinkler timers turn off the water automatically after a designated time to ensure the lawn gets the right amount of water. Some timers also measure flow rate, so you can get an accurate idea of exactly how much water your lawn needs to stay green and lush without overwatering.

If you don’t use sprinklers, you can still water your flowers and grass in an efficient way. Most UK businesses could collect up to 24,000 litres of rainwater from their roof each year – that’s enough to fill 150 water butts. That water can be used instead of tap water to keep grass, flowers, fruit and vegetables topped up.

Your organisation can make significant water savings, just by making small, inexpensive changes to the water systems you use – and the bigger the organisation, the bigger the savings. A company water audit is another good way to find efficiencies and start making savings.