WATER – how your business can help save water

14 March 2017

With the current water crisis affecting Auckland, now is a good time for all businesses to make sure they’re using water wisely. We’ve put together some tips with help from Watercare to help you make savings.

Recent torrential rainfall in Auckland caused a large amount of sediment to go into the lakes in the water treatment plants in the Hunua Ranges. As a result, Aucklanders are being asked to reduce their daily water usage, otherwise a ‘boil water notice’ may be needed.

Businesses need to play their part in cutting unnecessary water usage. We spoke to Watercare to find out how. Even if your business isn’t based in Auckland, it’s a timely reminder to look at your water use and make sure you’re using it wisely.

What your business can do right now to save water:

  1. Make sure you don’t have any sprinklers running in wet weather. Smart irrigation systems are equipped with rain sensors or, even better, soil moisture sensors to make sure they don’t go off unnecessarily.
  2. Only run your dishwasher when it is full.
  3. Use the half-flush on your toilet.
  4. Check for leaks, by performing a water leak test overnight. Read your water meter last thing at night, then first thing in the morning, making sure you don’t use any water during the night. If the meter shows that water is being used, you probably have a leak. Contact a licenced plumber to detect and repair the leak, saving money and reducing water wastage.
  5. Check your toilet cisterns and urinals to make sure they are not old or faulty. If you hear water running on an ongoing basis, they need replacing.
  6. Make sure your cleaning practices don’t use more water than they need. For example hoses can be left running for long periods to clean production lines, car parks or storage areas. Eliminate unnecessary cleaning, or consider waterless options, such as safety air guns for cleaning process equipment; brooms for sweeping; vacuum cleaners; and air blowers. You can also fit hoses with trigger-operated guns, so they can’t be left on without supervision.

What your business can do to save water going forward:

Read Watercare’s great resource: Be Waterwise: for businesses and organisations. It’s full of expert advice to help businesses understand their water use and make improvements. It includes advice on selecting water efficient appliances; getting input from your staff; monitoring water use and setting targets for water efficiency; managing leaks; and water efficient practices.

You can find out more by contacting WaterCare on info@water.co.nz or phoning 09 442 2222.

EcoMatters runs a free Water Advice service providing helpful water conservation advice for households. Find out more here or contact WaterCare to find out more.

Rachel Brown, CEO of the Sustainable Business Network, says: “With climate change we’re going to be seeing more of these extreme water events, so this is a wake-up call for all businesses to look at their water usage and make savings where you can.

“We have streambank planting projects around the country that are helping improve the quality of our waterways, with three in Auckland and more to come. So as well as making water usage savings, you can donate to a project to help clean up your local waterways.”

Find out more about the Million Metres Streams Project and support water quality improvements by selecting a local project to donate to.