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Councils boost water-saving and cut utility spend after work with water retailer Water Plus

Three Parish Councils have increased their water efficiency at sites – and cut running costs including utility bills after working with experts at water retailer Water Plus.

It includes a council’s village hall that saw a water-saving of 82% and a Parish Council that cut their water use at a site by almost 40%, through installing water efficiency devices, working with Water Plus. Just on the two sites, it’d save an estimated £4,810 in a year.

Another parish council saw a 37% saving at offices. Overall, it means an average water-saving of 52% across three sites.

As councils, including Parish councils, are mainly funded through a precept in the local council tax for an area, gains in water efficiency means the money that would have been spent on water use can be directed to other things for local communities, to improve facilities and services for local people.

Mark Taylor, Advanced Services Operations Manager in England for Water Plus, a 5 times Green Apple Environment Award winner and the UK’s largest water retailer, said: “Low-cost push taps and aerators can cut flow rates by 16 litres a minute. Showers can be reduced to 6 litres a minute – making a big difference for sites. Heating less water helps the environment too, as less water needs to be transported to a site and less energy is needed to make the water hot, reducing carbon emissions linked to this.

“Tracking your water use regularly, during a year, is also key to exploring opportunities around reducing carbon emissions at your organisation. Regular servicing and maintenance of taps, toilets and urinals – as well as any water efficiency devices in buildings – is important – so it’s known they’re working properly and no water’s being wasted.

There are a variety of solutions out there around how water is used – and it’s important to understand what would work best for your site when it comes to water efficiency measures – and seek experts for projects and installing kit. It’s also vital to make sure any changes around how water is used complies with the relevant laws and byelaws in place, like the Water Fittings Regulations, Water Industry Act and others.”

Along with regular monitoring of water use at sites, knowing what to do and where you’d get water if you need it is essential. It’s also important to consider if your staff and those visiting or using your site would know who to alert if they saw a water leak.

The councils visited and which had water efficiency devices installed, were part of a targeted project that Water Plus developed and was funded by Severn Trent, under its Green Recovery programme.

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. The Water Plus team also searched for the best water-efficient devices that would have the maximum impact at sites.

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.”

Water-saving devices were fitted in February 2023 and December 2022 at the parish council buildings, with meter readings taken before and after the equipment was installed to track water use reductions. Water efficiency devices installed at sites included tap aerators, valves that create air gaps in toilet cisterns, water-efficient showerheads and urinal water controllers, which reduce flushes through timers.

You can find out more about Water Plus and how it’s helping organisations here. The water retailer is also is highlighting water efficiency and water pipe messages, to help organisations of all sizes – under their #BeWiseOnWater awareness campaign, including on its online Help area – and on its business social media channels.

If your site, or organisation, wants to explore the benefits and savings available to reduce running costs, email and include the subject heading “PSSA Water”.

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