save-water
Winter can be a time to save water. Image – Stock.
  • Commercial property manager Wouter Jellema provides five tips on saving water
  • Winter can be a good time to check retic, water leaks, do maintenance and check systems

As we enter the winter months, we might turn our attention to how we might to save water and use our natural resources better instead. How can you do your bit when you occupy a commercial property?

Here are five tips to get started.

Tip 1. Check your water usage

Your water bill provides information on your usage, comparing the number of litres consumed to the last billing period and the same period in the previous year.

When you see a significant increase and did not change your habits, there could be a leak at the property.

At the start or end of the day, with no one otherwise using water, check the water meter at the front and see if it registers water coming through the property.

If it does, there could be a leak. Next, check the toilets, taps, sink, and ceiling to watch out for any signs of water damage. If there are signs, you could attend to it and see if that solves the problem.

If it does not, you should get a plumber to do a further investigation. If there is a leak underground, you could potentially be liable for a leak allowance. Your licensed plumber will be able to provide more information on this subject.

Tip 2. Reticulation System

When you occupy a property with lawn and gardens and have a reticulation system on-site, make sure you regularly maintain the system. Often, the system goes on after hours or during the weekends, and if sprinklers are faulty, you would not know about it.

The amount of wastage can be remarkable. By having the system checked before, during, and after summer, you could avoid leaks from happening or quickly act to rectify any particular issue.

It’s always best to recommend you turn off the reticulation during the winter months. During the wet season, gardens require less water, and there’s more rain about.

Finally, when we enter spring and turn the reticulation back on, make sure you program the system for the correct days, time, and correct duration.

As the watering times are after hours, if you accidentally programmed it to stay on for hours, you could be wasting lots of valuable water and risk a fine from the Water Corporation.

You would only notice this when you receive your next water bill and would require to investigate to find out what the issue is. When the system operates during the daytime, the sun will evaporate most of the water meant for the garden, meaning that you waste the water in the air before it can infiltrate the earth.

Tip 3. Educate your staff

The operational staff will be the ones using the building most of the time, and with that, they will use the water often. Educate your team to be ‘waterwise’ and ensure they follow standard practices to avoid unnecessary water usage.

Consult with your HR consultant on implementing regulations suitable for your business and how you can enforce them.

Tip 4. Maintain your evaporative aircon

Evaporative systems used in warehouses can leak water. By servicing the system regularly, you ensure that parts are correctly operating. If they are not functioning correctly, make sure repairs are carried out, avoiding excessive water going through the system than necessary.

Tip 5. Discuss a plan with your property manager or lessor

At the start of your tenancy, it would be worth asking your landlord or its agent questions about these matters. They possibly know more about the property’s history and can share some tips or advice with you that will help you set up a system to save water. When was the last time the various systems were serviced?

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