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How businesses can save water and cut costs

Washroom bathroom sink

We all know we need to save water. The same goes for making sure you recycle more, walking instead of driving and turning the lights off when you leave a room. However, it’s not necessarily at the top of our priority list and it’s too often considered a ‘nice to do’.

Today, we want to change that by demonstrating that saving water is not only the right thing for the planet but the right choice for your business’ bottom line too.

Water costs are too easily overlooked as a place to make savings but the statistics speak for themselves. Reports indicate wasted water costs UK businesses a staggering £3.5bn every year but a few simple, low-cost water-saving products can save your business thousands of pounds. And after one of the most difficult trading times in recent history, it’s never been more attractive to deliver cost savings – particularly when it’s a quick win.

Money down the drain

The first place you should review is your washroom. A big drain on water resources, the washroom accounts for up to 90% of a business’ water usage. As it’s an essential provision for building users, whether staff, customers or visitors, you may not have thought twice about how much money you’re literally pouring down the drain unnecessarily in your washroom. The good news is that phs water-saving experts can help you cut washroom water usage by 70%; making those all-important cash savings as well as lowering your environmental impact.

Banish your automatic flushes

You’d be forgiven for not spending a great deal of time looking at your urinals but this is our first port of call – and for good reason. Most urinals have an automatic flush process, programmed to flush every 15 to 30 minutes a day. The problem is that these keep flushing all day, every day even when you’re not in the building. Why do we need these continuous flushes at times when the washroom isn’t even being used? In pre-pandemic times this was a waste but with many buildings now having fewer occupants owing to the increase of home working, the level of waste is even higher. 

The answer is in phs’ intelligent-flush controls. Using infrared technology to detect movement, these ensure your urinals are only flushing when they’re needed and you can also programme in additional hygiene flushes if required. At normal occupancy levels, this can cut water bills by £800 a year per washroom and save more than 300,000 litres of water. And, of course, at reduced occupancy levels, these savings only increase. Add in a phs urinal sleeve to eliminate odours and blockages and your washroom not only costs less but is significantly more eco-friendly while remaining hygienic and fresh.

Pull the plug on wasted water

If you’ve got twist-on taps, there will inevitably be times when they’ve been accidentally left running or the washer has eroded leaving a continuous drip which can waste up to 90 litres of water a day. The easy solution here is to make the switch to push-on taps. Even if you’ve done this, you can save more by adding a small, flow-saving insert to reduce the flow of water from each tap. The phs FLOWSAVER changes the structure of the water flow from the tap to reduce water use. Instead of using 10 litres of water per minute, your taps will use just 1.7 litres while still being effective for handwashing.

Save water with every flush

Next we come to your toilets. Every time a toilet flushes, it uses as much as 12 litres of water. However, we rarely need this quantity. Introduce eco-friendly flushing with the phs FLUSHWISER. This device reduces the quantity of water consumption in every flush by three litres, saving you money on every washroom visit. Based on three flushes a day across 240 working days, this device alone will generate water savings of a hefty 2,160 litres of water per person each year.

Leading by example

Introducing simple water-saving measures such as these are already working for businesses up and down the country. Pub company EI Group is set to save as much as 80 million litres of water per year in its washrooms across its managed estates by reducing flushes. Meanwhile, motorway services operator Welcome Break is set to save more than 118 million litres in its first year – that’s enough to fill 48 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and save 41 tonnes of carbon. Water management has also helped a city council save 96% of urinal water usage and 80% of washbasin water, a sports stadium use 65% less water with a financial saving of £15,000 and has reduced a pub chain’s water consumption by 80%, saving over £600 per washroom each year.

How to save water - now

These are just three ways you can save water immediately. Don’t wait until your next water bill arrives, change it by acting now.

phs leads the market in water management systems, urinal services as well as sanitising and cleaning products for the washroom. We have been developing innovative and patented water-saving products for decades. phs' water-saving consultants offer a free audit, working with you to prepare a full water minimisation plan. This includes identifying issues such as leakages before introducing efficiency measures. As they’re low cost and extremely efficient, each water-saving device will start saving you money straight away. With minimal investment, the payback is impressively quick and you’ll keep making further savings each and every day.

We’re lucky enough to live in a culture where we can access seemingly limitless supplies of water at the turn of a tap. But water is a precious and finite resource with just 1% of the earth’s water usable to us. Demand for water is continuing to grow and increasingly areas of the UK are becoming subject to water stress. A report by Water UK forecasts we could face a significant deficit in water availability by the 2040s and the Environment Agency has warned there may be serious water shortages by 2050 if we don’t increase supply, reduce demand and cut wastage. The onus is on all of us to conserve water and if we can do this, we will not only help save our planet but save money too; it’s simply a no-brainer.

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