If you run a school, college or university, you’ll know that water is a necessity for the health and hygiene of both students and staff, and you’ll know how much water you need to budget for each year.

You’ll also know that while you cannot compromise the safety of your students and staff, you also need to balance your budget and make savings wherever possible. That’s where we can help.

You may be surprised to hear that by implementing water efficiency measures, you can save a substantial amount of money on your business water bills, without reducing hygiene standards or causing shortages.

Switch business water supplier

By switching your business water supplier, you could get a better deal and make immediate savings on your water and wastewater bill without taking any other measures. Focus Academy Trust, which has a total of 8,000 students, switched their water and wastewater services to Castle Water and saved a massive £7,500 a year on their water services bill. However, there are even greater water savings to be made by taking extra measures - and they don’t have to be extensive or expensive to make a big difference.

Submit regular meter readings

Taking and submitting regular water meter readings will help you to track water usage at your school or university throughout the year to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This will also help with early leak detection. If left unchecked, over time, a leak will waste a surprisingly large volume of water which you will be charged for. When Swindon Borough Council detected an anomaly in their expected water usage, we helped them investigate and were able to track the problem down to a leak which was quickly repaired. The Council estimated that this saved them a quarter of a million pounds on their yearly water bill.

Water efficiency audit

A great way of checking if your school or university is doing everything it can to save water is to book a water efficiency audit. During an audit, our experts will take a detailed look at water usage across the entire campus and will make recommendations of measures you can implement to decrease water usage or make more efficient use of wastewater and rainwater. Efficiencies that could easily pay for themselves in just a few months.

  • Recycling greywater - ‘Grey water’ is the wastewater from sinks, showers, dishwashers and washing machines, as well as rainwater collected from guttering. Rather than pouring it down the drain, invest in a system that diverts it and uses it to flush toilets, water grounds, and wash cars and pavements. The additional bonus is that you’ll also end up paying lower wastewater charges.
  • Install water-saving devices - A small measure that will save a lot of water in older toilets is to place water-saving bags into each cistern, which can save up to three litres per flush. Installing tap and showerhead aerators in campus accommodation, gyms and swimming changing rooms can save up to half the amount of water normally used, giving you a very quick return on your investment. Other devices that require more of an investment are dual-flush toilets, urinal controls, waterless urinals, and sensor taps.
  • Educate your students – One of the most important ways of creating water efficiencies is to let your students know you’re trying to save water - tell them the measures you’re taking and encourage them to adopt water-saving measures themselves. A recent global study led by Bath University revealed that 45% of the 10,000 people aged between 16 to 25 surveyed were concerned that climate change is affecting their daily lives, and nearly 60% felt very worried or extremely worried about the future. With many already motivated to being part of a more eco-friendly and efficient world, getting your student body involved with your water efficiency programme shouldn’t be too difficult. Simple tips they can incorporate into their daily lives is key, like remind them to turn the tap off when they’re cleaning their teeth or soaping their hands for 20 seconds, and to check that all the taps are turned off when they’ve finished with them.
  • Maintenance - Encourage staff and students to report drips and leaks and ensure your maintenance department mend them as soon as possible. You may think that, given the huge amount of water you use, saving small amounts of water here and there isn’t going to make a difference. However, even a minor annoyance such as a dripping tap can waste around 60 litres of water a week. Multiply that by the number of dripping taps there are across your campus, and you’ll soon start to see how the savings could stack up.

For more water efficiency tips, read our Water Efficiency Guide. It’s packed with easy and practical quick wins to help your school or university save water and money. Find your step-by-step guide here.

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