Water reviews, policies and action plans

Water meters, leaks and overflows


Inspecting your water meters and checking for unnecessary water loss from leaks, overflows and high pressure are usually good places to start your efforts to reduce water.

Water meters

Often under-utilised, your water meter is one of the most important components in your fight against wasted water. It can help you to identify and isolate leaks and overflows and monitor water use at particular times or by particular processes. Ask yourself:

  • Do you know where your water meter is located? If not, you could be wasting the opportunity to monitor your water use.
  • Do you have more than one incoming water meter, or are any areas of your business sub-metered? Ensure you understand how your metering system works or your monitoring may not be accurate.

Leaks and overflows

You can waste significant amounts of money if leaks and overflows remain undetected for any length of time. If your business only operates during the daytime, water use should be near to zero at night. By reading your meters at night you can identify unusual water use, which could suggest you have one or more leaks.

Overflows can also become a major drain on water use. They can occur because of:

  • perished tap washers
  • worn cistern valves
  • corroded pipework
  • flooded floats in water tanks and cisterns

To minimise leaks and overflows:

  • make sure overflow outlets are visible
  • carry out regular checks on overflows, pipework and valves
  • develop a system that reports any leaks or faults immediately
  • install level sensors and on/off control systems for pumps
  • install shut-off valves
  • closely monitor all your meters including sub-meters

Isolation and water pressure

One important measure your business can take to vastly reduce the amount of water it wastes is to isolate water. Installing quarter-turn ball valves at major junctions will ensure it is clear whether a valve is open or closed. It also enables quick and effective isolation of the water supply.

High water pressure can be damaging, using excessive water and causing leaks which put additional strain on your water system. You could install pressure-reducing valves to control the pressure in the incoming mains supply to minimise the effects of high pressure.