Water tracking and technology identify £4m avoidable waste

Water is a whizz when it comes to driving efficiency at your organisation and reducing carbon emissions linked to your operation – but why?

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There are carbon emissions linked to the wastewater from your site which is taken away and treated once you’ve used it – and carbon emissions linked to the water that you get through your taps – so reducing either of these – and any waste – helps you towards net zero and beyond.

If water is heated at your site then there could also be an energy saving opportunity there too, where less hot water is needed.

The work between the Water Plus Advanced Services team and organisations in the UK – including installing data loggers on water meters in the last year has resulted in around £4 million of additional water waste being stopped in the space of just 17 months (and a billion litres of water stopped from being lost unnecessarily)*.

The data loggers, take readings every 15 minutes and feed information into a smart online portal each day, which organisations can see.

Barry McGovaney, Innovation and Technology Manager at Water Plus, the UK’s largest water retailer and a Green Apple Environment Award winner, said: “Knowing what water you’re using where is an important first step to take towards powering your organisation to more efficient operations and reducing risks to interruptions.

“Data loggers are a tool that can help, particularly where you have more than one water meter, or if the water meter cannot be accessed safely to take regular readings.

“Looking at your Trade Effluent is also key, as you need to follow the laws in place and have the consent from water wholesalers around this.

“This covers the manufacturing and processing of materials such as chemicals, metal finishing, food and drink manufacture, and even those operating a car wash or launderette.

“So, depending on how you use water at your site and the product you are manufacturing or the processes you have, it pays to be more in the know on what you use where and how.

“If you’re a manufacturer – or another organisation – it’s also worth utilising all opportunities for recovery, as not everything going down the drain, is waste.

“Recycling rainwater at sites, including those with large roof areas, is another area to consider, which could reduce you water bills too where you use less water from the water wholesaler network.”

There is further information in the Water Industry Act and on water wholesalers’ websites about requirements around Trade Effluent, along with in The Trade Effluents (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations.

Work with organisations by Water Plus is also being recognised this year. The water retailer is shortlisted for Water Efficiency Project of the Year in the Water Industry Awards 2022 and was named a Finalist in the Environment Award at the Better Society Awards 2022.

The Big Zero show takes place on 21 June in Coventry get involved – and hear more on ways to make progress around Net Zero and lowering impacts on the planet here.

* From 1st January 2021 to 26th May 2022, water loss totalling 1333399.46 m3 at an approximate cost of £4 million – has now been stopped due to our engagement with organisations (statistic based on actual water meter readings for water loss that has been stopped through repair or isolation). There are 1,000 litres in a cubic metre of water (m3).