There are many ways to save water at your business, like installing water efficient appliances and educating your staff about water usage.
Understand your water use
Before you can start to save water in your business, its important to understand your current water usage. This includes how much water you are using, in which parts of your business and at what time. This will help you decide what water saving measures you can implement. It will also help you identify leaks.
Some easy ways to get started with monitoring your water usage:
Read your meter: a simple way to check for leaks is to check your water meter at the end of each day and first thing in the morning. If your business does not operate overnight, then there should be a very small, if any, difference between the two readings. If there is a big difference, you may have a leak.
Track your bills: if there is a big difference between your bills from one quarter to the next, you may have a leak, or your appliances are old, inefficient and need replacing.
There are programs available if you’d like support in monitoring your water usage. The Victorian Government’s WaterSmart program provides eligible organisations with data logging or water audits. Learn more at our WaterSmart page.
Check your equipment
Install water efficient appliances and equipment, like taps, toilets and dishwashers. Most plumbing products and white goods are regulated under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme. Products are tested for water consumption and given a rating of up to six stars. The more stars, the more efficient a product is.
You can find a product’s rating on its water rating label. Find out more about water efficiency labelling and standards at the Australian Government's water rating website.
Replace older equipment like toilets and shower heads. You should also replace seals in kitchens and bathrooms each year.
Engage your team
Let your staff know that saving water is a priority for your business and bring your staff along on your business’ water saving journey.
You can do this by:
educating your staff about why saving water aligns with your business’ commitment to sustainability
installing signage around the office with water saving tips and tricks
providing staff with the opportunity to share their water-saving tips through emails or staff surveys.
Consider your daily water use
Use a vacuum or broom to clean hard surfaces, and only clean floors with water when you can see stains or marks.
Invest in high pressure cleaning equipment, as this will save water and time.
Watering your plants
Plants are a great way to enhance your office environment, but most plants require watering.
When you get plants for your office, choose hardier varieties that require less water.
If you already have plants around the office, water them at the end of the day. This avoids water evaporation in the warmer parts of the day.
If you have outdoor plants at your business, consider putting mulch on your garden beds to reduce water evaporation. Mulch can prevent up to 70 per cent of water evaporating from the soil.
You can also install a rainwater tank to collect water or a drip irrigation system to water plants more efficiently.
In your kitchens and bathrooms
Many of the tips for saving water in your home also apply at your business. You can read our water saving tips for your home on our Saving water at home page.
A continuously running toilet can waste up to 60,000 to 96,000 litres of water a year. Check for toilet leaks in your business every few months.
Follow these steps to check if your toilet has a leak:
remove the lid of your toilet cistern
place a few drops of food dye in the cistern
don't flush your toilet for 10 to 15 minutes
when you return, if the dye has seeped down into the bowl, then you know you have a leak.
Turn off taps as soon as you have finished using them. Leaving a tap running can waste 16 litres of water a minute.
Don’t over-tighten taps when you turn them off. This can wear the washer and cause leaks.
Fit flow-controlled aerators to your taps. These are inexpensive and can reduce water flow by 50 per cent.
Encourage your team to use dishwashers for their dishes, but only turn them on when they are full.