Industries that deal with chemical processes will generally have to apply for consent to dispose of trade effluent. However, hairdressing salons do not need to gain consent because the risks from the waste their services produce are so low.

Effluent from hairdressing services is classed as regular sewage because of the nature of the waste, i.e. it’s the same kind of water that we produce in domestic kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.

Are your profits going down the drain?

The nature of hairdressing business means you will be using a lot of water, so while you do not need trade effluent consent, you will still be paying for every drop. Therefore, it would be a good idea to take steps to save the amount of water you and your staff use in order to save money.

It’s estimated that a running tap, on average, uses approximately six litres of water every minute. If you keep the water running while you’re shampooing and conditioning customers’ hair, the wastage soon adds up. Even just encouraging people to turn the tap off while they’re soaping their hands for the recommended 20 seconds saves two litres per wash.

Install a smart meter

A smart water meter could help you reduce your water usage and therefore your water bills - even if you’re running a small salon, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you could save in the long run. A meter will let you know what your current average water use is, and once you understand that, you can use readings to assess success as you introduce water-saving measures.

More importantly, regular monitoring of your meter will enable you to identify a leak sooner rather than later. If you discover that you’re unexpectedly using more water than you usually do, you’ve probably got a leak. If this is the case, click here to find out how to work out where the problem might be, which will help you decide which steps to take in order to fix it.

It is important to stay on top of leaks because of the amount of water you could be paying for unnecessarily. For example, something as seemingly trivial as a dripping tap can waste up to 90 litres of water a week, which gives you an indication of how much a damaged pipe might be costing you.

Another important consideration is that an undetected leaking pipe may cause more damage than the leak itself, and the longer you leave it, the more likely it is to become more expensive and time consuming to repair.

Other steps you can take to save water

  • Install water-saving taps
  • Educate your staff about your water-saving measures and encourage them through leading by example
  • Putting a water-saving device, such as a ‘Hippo’, into your cistern will save up to three litres every time the toilet is flushed
  • Use the eco-setting on your washing machine and dishwasher, if you have one
  • Regular maintenance