Saving water in the workplace - our recommendations for any business

Leaks

Leaks can cost a business thousands of dollars each year - and they are often invisible or hard to find!  Here's a few ways you can track down leaks:

  • Get to know your water mains plans.  You need to know how your water moves around your property to quickly track down leaks.
  • Install and maintain valves which will stop water flowing to parts of your property so you can focus in on leaks and carry out repairs.
  • Carry out routine checks and maintenance.  Ensure you have a schedule for checking and fixing all the toilets, taps, showers and so on.  Little drips or leaking toilets can cost you a fortune; remember they don’t stop when you go home.
  • Keep track of your water bill and make sure you have a good idea of your average water use per month. This way you can compare your bills to see if they have increased, indicating a potential leak.

Irrigation

Did you know that over half of the average water bill is from irrigation? Here's some tips to help you reduce water use whilst still maintaining a vibrant garden at your business:

  • Watering less often, for slightly longer periods, encourages deeper root growth in grasses and plants. Deep roots enable a plant to access more ground water in the cooler soil below. We recommend watering 3 to 4 days a week for grass and lawn, 2 to 3 days a week for exotics such as fruit trees and palms and 1-2 days a week for natives plants and trees such as acacias, grevilleas and eucalypts.
  • In the Top End climate, most irrigation systems have a useful life of about 10-15 years. Include an item in your annual budget to account for a complete system overhaul every 12 years. This will not only ensure that your gardens and lawn stay looking amazing but will also save you money on your water bill and will reduce maintenance repair costs and potential leaks.
  • Smart irrigation controllers can potentially reduce your water use by extra 10-15% on an already efficiently designed and operating irrigation system. They are able to automatically reduce water use by adjusting the irrigation schedule to suit current or forecasted weather conditions. This saves you money two fold; firstly by reducing unnecessary water use and secondly by reducing staff time needed to adjust irrigation systems. Smart controllers can be set-up and monitored from a smart phone or a computer system remotely.

Water Management Plan

  • Living Water Smart can conduct an onsite visit and develop a water management plan based on these results. Expert knowledge and the latest in water savings technologies will be incorporated to ensure you can make the highest water savings with the least impact on your business and with calculated pay back periods.

Education and awareness

  • Raising staff awareness is a cost-effective and sustainable way to save water at your business or workplace. Behaivoural changes are the cheapest to fix – they’re free! So be sure to focus on these.
  • Install reminder signs in your kitchen and bathroom areas to remind staff and customers to use water wisely.
  • Display water smart posters in kitchens, staff rooms and toilets.
  • Reduce water wastage by regularly checking and fixing leaks in taps, toilet cisterns, pipes and appliance hoses.

Get management on board

  • Having senior managers on board will enable you to investigate, propose and implement water efficiency measures.
  • Top Down/Bottom Up Approach - the water saving message should be consistent across the organisation.
  • Start water saving practices from the site’s senior management levels.

Get staff on board

  • Spread the word – let everyone know about this - get staff involved in the program.
  • Talk to staff about your water savings initiatives. Include water savings policies and procedures in staff induction.
  • Encourage staff to contribute to water savings ideas. They may already have great ideas about how to save water and this may be their chance to make them happen.
  • Discuss water efficiency at team meetings and keep staff up-to-date on how the site is tracking against its goals water use figures.
  • Urge employees to report leaks and other issues.
  • Provide incentives, for example, you could consider adding water conservation targets to staff performance reviews.

Set a target

  • What is your workplace goal? Setting a goal can help to focus attention on what needs to be done and how to achieve it.
  • Identify ‘water efficiency champions’ and celebrate their achievements.

For further information and for assistance to improve your organisation’s water efficiency contact Living Water Smart.

Any commercial operation, business, government or not for profit organisation in the Darwin region is eligible for a free Water Use Health Check with Living Water Smart.