Rugby club saves water with Water Plus

A rugby club has cut water use by over 35% in areas of their site, after installing water-saving devices thanks to working with the UK’s largest water retailer

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Linlithgow Rugby Club’s Mains Park ground didn’t have any water efficiency devices on-site but match days saw showers, and toilet areas used by the teams and club officials. The club also held community outreach activities too, which meant more water use at the site at other times.

After entering a water efficiency competition for sports organisations in Scotland, run by water retailer Water Plus, a range of water efficiency devices were supplied and installed after the club’s winning entry.

And sports clubs now have the chance to win more water-saving devices – in a competition currently being run by Water Plus. Clubs need to send in 150 words, or less. For more details, see the Water Plus website here.

Rugby club converts savings

Water-saving devices installed included flow controllers, water efficient taps and showerheads. The result: flow rates dropped significantly for showers and taps at the club, including from 10 litres a minute for cold and 9 litres a minute hot water in the men’s shower room to 6 litres a minute for both. Push taps and aerators also cut water use in other places from 20 litres a minute for cold water to 4 litres a minute.

Linlithgow Rugby Club said it has now seen its usual water use drop by around 36% – cutting up to 600 litres on peak use days from 1.7 cubic metres of water a day to 1.08 cubic metres of water a day, as the club moved back into more normal operations and activities.

Speaking this month, Ken Richardson, Secretary of Linlithgow Rugby Club, said: A big part of the Vision for the club, that we’ve set out, is installing more resource-efficient utilities in and around the club – so adding water efficiency devices has really helped us towards our goal. There has been a noticeable reduction in water use for the showers and tap areas, with these adding up to savings on water costs – which will allow us to use the funds we would have spent on water bills to invest in the club and our facilities.

“It’s definitely making a difference to ongoing running costs, as less mains water is needed for the showers, taps and urinals as we’ve made all of those more efficient. The management committee is also more aware of the water we use and where we use it – and we’re looking at how we could recycle more water for different uses at the club too.”

“The support – and water saving advice from Water Plus – has been really helpful, particularly having the water-saving devices installed quickly, efficiently and safely at the club,” Ken added.

The club is now monitoring their water use more regularly to spot issues early and see where other steps can be taken to increase water efficiency.

Ken said: “We track our water use as we know it’s important to spot opportunities and issues early – and so we can reduce waste and decrease how much carbon emissions we’re creating – and see where we can avoid this too. It also helps us for budgeting and planning for the future too.”

Scott MacIndeor, Head of Advanced Services at Water Plus, said: “Even small steps make a big difference when it comes to cutting water waste and identifying weak points on your site water pipes and leaks – along with other opportunities to save on running costs.

“Looking closer at your water use at your site and your consumption data is worth the time to help lower the amount you’re spending on water, cut energy use and contribute to your sustainability and net-zero targets.

“Many do not realise that small, slow-seeping leaks can add up quickly on your operating costs. Our work with this sports club also helped identify a trickling leak that was losing 12 litres an hour of water. These can be on the everyday items in a building like taps, toilets or showers.”

Scott continued: “Underground leaks on-site can even stop water flowing at a site and can also cost thousands of pounds if they’re not found and repaired.

“So, it’s important for all organisations – large and small – to regularly check your water use – at least once a month, if your water meter is safe to access. You can see any unexpected jumps in consumption that can indicate a leak on-site and have a recent meter reading to hand if you need to update a bill based on estimated use.”

The club, in Linlithgow, West Lothian, in Scotland, also installed a biomass boiler in 2013, to provide heat and hot water, and a solar power demonstrator scheme (in partnership with Linlithgow Community Development Trust) to offset their power base load.

If your sports club or organisation wants to explore the benefits and savings available to reduce running costs, email  [email protected] and include the subject heading “Saving water for sport”.

More details about the carbon emissions linked to water use at sites, is here.

Additional note: Water-saving devices, including tap aerators, were installed on 26th November 2020 at Linlithgow Rugby Club – and water efficient showerheads and flush controllers were put in during February and March 2021, during refurbishment of the shower rooms and facilities at the club. The water-saving data mentioned was provided in July 2022.