News article

Heatwave: businesses urged to save water

4 July 2018

Businesses can help relieve the pressure on water demand by taking steps to conserve water where they can

The hosepipe ban introduced in Northern Ireland at the moment applies to domestic usage only. It was introduced to protect the public against the increased threat of supply interruptions.

Businesses are not currently impacted by the hosepipe ban that has been introduced in Northern Ireland by NI Water. However businesses are being encouraged to look at ways in which they can save water as this will help reduce water demand and in turn relieve the strain on resources. See further guidance on the hosepipe ban from NI Water.

Save water and save money
NI Water would hope that people will voluntarily work with them to reduce their water usage during this prolonged spell of dry and hot weather. In addition taking steps to save water can help save your business money.

Tips to help businesses save water

  • Turn off taps whenever they not in use eg in kitchens and bathrooms on your business premises, and encourage staff to follow suit.
  • Fill the kettle with only as much water as you and your staff need.
  • Fix leaking taps – a dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water per week. You could also save up to 30 per cent of your water costs by fixing a leak from a single cold water tap.
  • Put off non-essential cleaning – identify areas within your businesses where activities using large quantities of water can be put off eg some businesses with vehicle fleets are only washing windscreens, mirrors, lights and number plates.
  • Use a bowl for washing fruit and vegetables – eg food businesses could use a bowl to wash and prepare fruit and vegetables and then use the leftover water for other uses such as rinsing recycling waste.
  • Lawns and plants – you could turn off sprinklers and consider that plants do not need watered every day. You could use some water saving crystals to retain moisture and consider putting plants into the shade for a day or two.
  • Educate and inform staff by highlighting how they can help implement water efficient measures and putting up signage in the workplace eg in bathrooms to remind staff to turn off taps after use.
  • Only use water when you need to – identify how much water your business uses on a daily or weekly basis to understand your demands. This will help you decide the best ways to save water and money. You could also appoint a member of staff to monitor workplace water usage.
  • Investigate alternative water sources eg harvesting rainwater through a roof catchment or reusing wastewater from wash basins. This can be used where non-drinking water is required eg watering lawns or plants.

Further guidance on saving water