Understand your water consumption

Understand your water consumption

The first step in reducing your water use is to find out how, when and why water is being used. By monitoring water use you can find possible leaks and see unexplained usage.

Understand your appliances' flow rates

Before you make any changes, it's useful to find out how many litres per minute your existing appliances use. It will help you measure the effectiveness of the changes.

Measuring flow rates is easy. Simply use a jug or bucket and a stopwatch. Fill the vessel for one minute and record how much water you capture in that period of time.

Keep records of past water use

Knowing your historical water use allows you to predict trends. The information you need is on your SA Water account. By recording your usage, you can compare it with future accounts. What this method doesn't do is track behaviour or water use patterns: consumption readings are averaged out over time. But, it will give you a better idea about when to expect your water use to vary.

Keep an eye on your water meter readings

Checking your water meter regularly will help you to quickly spot any issues or leaks. It's a good idea to keep a daily, weekly or monthly graph of your water use.

Remember: Always investigate any rapid changes in your consumption. If you find a leak, follow it up promptly. An ongoing leak of just five litres per minute can cost you more than $8,700 every year.

Work out your average daily use

By working out your business's average daily water use, you'll have a benchmark of what is 'normal'.

If your business's water use is steady, you can easily work out the average water use per day.

To do this, divide the volume used by the number of days.

If your business runs 365 days a year, divide your quarterly water use by 91. (That's the average number of days in three months.)

Once your average daily use is established, you will see any fluctuation. That variation can show you potential water saving opportunities. It can also point to costly leaks, inefficiencies, and overflows.

Does your business change seasonally?

If your business changes seasonally, you are better off tracking water use against units of production. This change might include seasonal production changes, and/or growth demands. The unit of production will depend on your business activity. For example, a manufacturing facility may take the unit as the litres of water used for every item produced.

Benchmarking water use against productivity

Benchmarking allows you to compare your water use to industry averages. It is a great way of monitoring your use.

At SA Water we partnered with other water utilities to create the National Business Water Efficiency Benchmarking website. You can use it for free.

To do this:

  1. visit this link
  2. click calculate
  3. fill in the details.

The website will calculate your benchmark and compare it against industry averages.

Use sub meters to monitor specific areas

You can isolate and meter specific areas using sub meters. This is useful if you have a number of areas that use a lot of water.

Using sub meters can help you:

  • Find potential problem areas
  • Focus on fixing areas where you will gain immediate benefit
  • Measure the success of water efficiency improvements

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