Help and advice for retail businesses

As a retail business owner, you want to keep your costs down as much as possible. You may be a smaller shop with a single staff toilet, or a larger supermarket with customer toilets.

Either way, small changes such as identifying water wastage on site, setting a baseline for water use, raising awareness amongst staff and customers, or upgrading to water efficient devices can help to save water and money. Here’s a bank of information to help you do exactly that!

Encouraging water saving behaviour

With different members of staff and sometimes also the public using your facilities, it can be hard to manage user behaviour.

With our range of water saving posters that you can download here, you can influence your staff and/or customers to report leaky loos, other leaks, and use the small flush.

It’s key to educate staff around the cost of water and the impact this could have on the business if the water is wasted, such as impact to profit and business security. Many sites cannot trade without a water supply.

If your staff or customers regularly flush items other than the 3 Ps – pee, poo and paper – down the toilet, then you can also find posters to download here to educate them around what not to flush.

Finding leaks

For larger retail units, you’ll likely have a fair amount of pipework getting water around your site, which makes you susceptible to leaks over time.

Quieter periods when you’re closed are the perfect opportunity to scrutinise water meter readings and identify any leaks. Read our how to guide here on how to test for a leak on your site.

If you suspect you have a leak but are struggling to locate it due to extensive pipework , e.g. under a customer car park, then you can install isolation valves throughout your site to narrow down leaks into specific zones. This doesn’t cost as much as you might think and results in a great return on investment if it saves you time searching for a costly leak.

If you cannot locate a possible leak around your premises, we would also recommend to get in touch with a leak detection company to help you pin point the issue.

Wrapping up for winter

Many shops are empty for periods of time, either overnight, during weekends or holidays meaning a burst pipe could go unnoticed and leak huge amounts of water causing internal flooding.

You may want to turn your water temporarily off by using your stop tap if you’re leaving the premises for longer periods. There are a number of things to be aware of when re-introducing the water supply to your premises after a closure period. You can find out more advice on what to do when re-introducing your water supply by clicking this link here.

If you’re a larger retail unit that’s closed for periods during the holiday break, you may want to drain the water network over the winter to reduce the chances of a burst. If only certain parts of the site are closed during the winter, consider installing stop taps to these areas so the supplies can be isolated.

Find out more about how to prepare your premises for winter here.

Taking advantage of data logging

If you have several sites or have difficulty accessing your water meter to read it regularly, it can be really tricky to manage your water consumption.

The answer could be data logging. Water monitoring equipment is connected to the water meter, and you can easily see the analysis of your usage online. You’ll be able to track your water use at a glance, enabling you to spot any potential problems such as leaks and deal with them quickly and efficiently .

Find out more about our paid-for data logging service here.

Water saving tips

Here are some generic water saving tips to help you reduce your water consumption across your site.