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Utilities & Environmental

Five Myths About The Costs of Business Water Services

By 25th October 2013April 4th, 2019No Comments

Myth 1 – Your water bill is simply for the supply of fresh water

No, in most cases your water bill covers not only maintaining the supply of clean water, but also the disposal of wastewater and a charge for the removal to drain of the rainwater that falls on the plot on which your premises are situated. In addition there are costs associated with metering and administration. Exactly how these services are charged for and the tariffs that are applied will depend on your supplier or suppliers.

Myth 2 – Water rates are fixed charges levied by the Water Board

Although many residential properties still pay fixed water charges based on rateable value, the majority of business premises are now metered – the more water consumed, the higher the costs. Publicly owned Water Boards ceased to exist after the mid 1970’s when they were abolished as part of the Water Act of 1973. However the term still seems to be common parlance despite the fact that the 12 combined water & sewerage companies and the 14 water supply only companies in England and Wales are all privately owned

Myth3 – Saving water is not going to make much difference to my bottom line

For every cubic meter (1000 litres) of fresh water supplied then typically 900-950 litres is deemed by the wastewater supplier to require conveyance for treatment as sewage and therefore a second volumetric charge is made to you the customer. Thus for every cubic meter of water saved, the financial payback is two-fold. For many, ‘water saving’ conjures up visions of hosepipe bans, short showers and using bathwater to flush the WC. There is merit in all of these measures, but for many business customers we have come across many examples where there is a much more basic issue of large scale wasteful consumption. Examples include uncontrolled urinal cisterns, bad working practices by staff clinging toMyth 2, poorly maintained equipment such as pumps and water softeners and worst of all, underground leakage.

Myth 4 – If I had a water leak it would be obvious to me

Not so; water travels downwards when it leaks out into the ground, and unless there is an explosive rupture in pipework that (for some reason) is just below the surface, there are usually no visible clues to subterranean leaks.

Myth 5 – Water bills are like tax demands – I just have to keep paying them

No – charges have to be justifiable and accurate, usage can be managed and controlled, and allowances/rebates may be due.