Guide

Save water at commercial premises

Reduce water use from taps

Taps can potentially be a huge source of wasted water. There are a number of technologies that your business could consider to reduce water use from taps.

An isolating ball valve enables you to control the flow of water through the valve. This adjustment could save up to six litres of water per minute. The valve is easy and cheap to fit but may block as scale builds up.

Similar in design and function to an isolating ball valve, the same water savings can potentially be made by fitting a flow restrictor. However, these are also prone to blocking with scale build up.

With a spray tap the nozzle is replaced with a nose that dispenses water as a mist or spray. Water savings can be up to ten litres a minute. These systems can be highly effective at saving water, but they can block and cause splashing. They can also be a potential source of legionella if the tap is used infrequently.

With a tap aerator the design of the tap nozzle allows air to mix with water when it exits the tap, giving the appearance of an increase in water flow. These devices are easy to retrofit to existing taps and can deliver similar savings as other techniques.

Using a push tap can control the flow of water to the user. After the user has released the tap, the water flow will stop after a delay of between one and 20 seconds. These devices have a relatively long payback period of between two and three years.

With an electronic tap an infrared sensor under the tap activates the flow of water. The temperature of the water is preset. As the hand of the user does not touch the tap, hygiene can be a major advantage of this technology.

An 'eco-tap' or 'eco-brake' cartridge stops a user from using the full flow that the tap can provide by stopping the tap lever from moving more than halfway. It offers substantial savings as the potential water flow is halved.

A thermostatic mixer valve within the tap can detect the water pressure or temperature and expand the element within the tap. This alters the proportion of hot and cold water that is mixed within the tap.

Tax breaks for water efficient equipment

Many of the technologies your business could employ to reduce the amount of water used by its washroom taps may be eligible for tax allowances under the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme - seeĀ first-year allowances for water efficient technologies.