Sites included restaurants, hotels, cafes, sports clubs including bowling, golf, rugby and cricket, a gym and village hall, parish council buildings and care homes – with four that had seen savings of above 84% and three seeing a 77% saving on water being used.
In an ambitious targeted drive to cut water waste and make water that’s used go further in one county, over 100 sites have, so far, had water efficiency devices installed through water retailer Water Plus, including tap aerators, valves that create air gaps in toilet cisterns, water-efficient showerheads and urinal water controllers, which reduce flushes through timers.
Seven sites had seen between 20% and 44% saving on water used, with the average 34.6% based on water use tracked on 42 of the sites involved, through meter readings taken before and after the devices were installed.
It means the 42 sites have an estimated saving of more than £47,000 over 12 months from the project, on their water bills.
The project was managed by the Advanced Services Team at Water Plus, who provide Value Added Services (VAS), including leak detection and repair, water audits along with water efficiency advice and projects. Hundreds of sites that could benefit from water-saving steps were identified by the Water Plus team, who also searched for the best water-efficient devices that would have the maximum impact.
Scott MacIndeor, Head of Advanced Services at Water Plus, which is the largest water retailer supplying more than 710,000 customer supply points in England and Scotland, said: “Significant water savings – and reduction in overall running costs at sites – have been delivered through some small measures that are making a substantial difference. This approach included use of innovative approaches to water-saving along with engaging and developing engagement with a wide range of business sectors and other sites around their water, building awareness and engaging more with water than ever before.
“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 help reduce impacts on the environment. So, it’s important for all organisations – large and small – to regularly check their water use – at least once a month, if their water meter is safe to access to see where opportunities may be and reduce risks from issues on site pipes.
“Small, low-cost things like tap aerators can cut hot water and cold water use. If less water needs heating, then less energy needs to be used – so there are less carbon emissions, unless your power is from 100% certified renewable energy already.”
“Close work with the wholesaler in the region, Severn Trent, has resulted in much wider benefits for customers across Leicestershire and provided greater insight for more meaningful engagement with organisations in the future. It shows how collaborating in the sector can drive quicker progress involving larger numbers of customers to increase water-saving and help the environment too,” Scott, from Water Plus, added.
The project that Water Plus developed was funded by Severn Trent, under its Green Recovery approach.
Josephine Veissid, Transformation Project Manager at Severn Trent, said: “We worked with Water Plus who have delivered an exceptional approach to water-saving on a large scale, helping customers and communities, along with the environment. The Green Recovery programme seeks out ambitious and innovative projects on water efficiency – and this involved both of these elements, helping communities become more sustainable, save water and reduce bills.
“Our unique trials will act as a blueprint, helping shape the future of the water industry. We’re excited by these projects and our Green Recovery programme, which is running until 2025, will make a tangible difference.”
Sites who had devices fitted had their initial water surveys completed between August to October 2022, with work carried out November 2022, to March 2023 – and follow-up meter readings taken. Work continues with the other sites that had water audits completed, while additional meter readings are gained from the other sites where equipment has been installed.
More information about the steps to help the environment that Water Plus is taking is on Future Net Zero here – and on the Water Plus website here.
If your site or organisation wants to explore the benefits and savings available to reduce running costs, email [email protected] and include the subject heading “FNZ Water”.
Meter readings were taken with a minimum gap of four weeks between each set, to track savings and impacts of water efficiency devices installed. The 34.6% average water-saving was for 42 sites that have had efficiency measures introduced, based on actual meter readings taken before and after devices were installed. Sites where water efficiency kit was installed were in Leicestershire.
Further info on the water company Severn Trent Water’s Green Recovery is on the Severn Trent Water website.