Every business pays for water. From small stores with washrooms, to fully functioning kitchens, or even car detailing garages, water is a vital part of any business. However, water bills can be complicated to understand as they are constantly changing.
How is Water Measured
Water is most commonly measured using CCF (centum cubic feet) and the gallon. One CCF is equal to about 748 gallons. To give you a bit of perspective, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that the average four-person household uses up to 10,500 gallons of water in a 30-day period.
Most providers will use the following method to bill businesses for their water usage:
- Flat Fees: All customers are charged the same no matter how much water is used.
- Uniform Rates: A constant per-unit price is applied. You will pay by usage but the rates stay the same year-round.
- Increasing Block Rates: The rates increase with each succeeding block period. Promotes conservation.
- Declining Block Rates: rates decrease with each succeeding block period. Popular in rural areas and areas with plentiful water supplies.
- Seasonal Rates: Rates will cover a specific period throughout the year. For example, rates may be higher in summer and lower in winter.
- Drought Rates: Similar to seasonal rates, but will adjust based on the region’s drought level.
How To Save Money on Water Usage:
The best practice for your business to start saving on its water bill is to find the right rates. As the list above suggests, you need to look into your business’ water usage and region.
Depending on your industry, water waste prevention plans can be individually employed. There isn’t a universal solution for all businesses unfortunately, so you’ll have to find something that works best for you. Here are a couple of tips that you could adopt for your business:
Change Your Water Usage Habits
Encourage your employees to use water wisely. Don’t leave taps on for too long, optimize dishwasher loads (if your business uses them), and use cold water as often as you can instead of hot water. Be conservative when filling pots and kettles and encourage employees to bring water from home!
While the initial cost of renovating your office space may seem steep, it will ultimately save you money in the long run. Upgrading your toilet system to include sensor flushes and waterless urinals can greatly improve your water consumption. If your business employs dishwashers, showers, or sinks, installing efficient, low volume appliances can help limit water use. Changing your bathroom sinks to include infrared sensors or push-tops can help control how much water employees use and limit the amount of time a tap is turned on for.
Maintenance is King
The older your pipes and faucets get, the more likely they are to leak. Leaks will cost you dearly if they are not dealt with. In fact, toilet tanks, dishwashers, and washing machines can all add to your waste water if they are not given regular maintenance and repairs. Be sure to encourage employees to identify leaks and faulty taps and report them so that you can tackle the issue before it gets out of hand.
In colder regions, be sure to keep your pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can cause immense damage to your entire building and should be maintained at all times. You can install heating tape on exposed pipes and insulate your most problematic areas to ensure freezing does not occur (among other methods).
One last area to keep an eye on is the water meter itself. A malfunctioning water meter can result in billing errors that will cost you. Be sure to contact your provider to do regular checks.
We hope this article has helped you understand your water bill a bit more. Knowledge is the best defense against unexpected costs! Be sure to keep an eye out for more topics on the Watchdog Management Services blog on how your business can save!