Leak prevention

What your business can do about leaks

Water leaks don't just waste water, they can substantially increase your business's water bill. Luckily, they're easy to find, fix and prevent. Here are some simple ways to save water and money with minimal capital outlay.

How to find a leak

Before you can fix a leak, you have to know you have one. Here are 4 ways to tell if your business is using more water than it should.

1 Compare typical water use

If you're not sure how much water your business should be using, compare your water use to similar businesses at benchmarks for water use. When you know how much water a business like yours should be using, it's easier to see if you might have a leak.

2 Compare 'usage charges' on your bills

Check your water bill and compare the amount of water you've used with previous bills over the past 3 years. If there are increases you can't account for, they may be due to a leak. Find out how to read your bill.

3 Monitor your meter

You don't have to wait for a water bill to know how much water you're using.

  • Regular meter readings help identify leaks. Record your meter reading at the end of one business day and again at the start of the next business day. If you didn't expect any water use but the reading has gone up, you may have a leak.
  • Our Online Monitoring program allows you to track your business's water use in real time with data loggers. We subsidise data loggers for eligible businesses.
  • In addition to your main water meter, you can install sub-meters for different business processes or areas. These can narrow down locations where leaks may be occurring.
  • Smart meters provide accurate, real-time data automatically and help identify costly hidden leaks early. If you have a smart meter and register for My Account, we can notify you immediately if overnight water use looks too high, by SMS, email or phone.

4 Conduct a water audit

A water audit is a comprehensive, systematic review of all the parts of your business that use water. It helps you understand your water use. You can identify leaks, see water use patterns, and establish a water balance to see how much water comes in and out of your business. A water audit can also identify issues impacting water quality. For example, a leaking underground pipe can potentially syphon contaminated water into your drinking water.

Water audits may include:

  • checking existing plant, equipment and plumbing
  • reviewing water use history by checking your meter and past bills to see water use patterns
  • installing extra monitoring, including sub-metering and data loggers, or bringing existing meters and sub-meters online
  • reviewing hydraulic plans that show where your water, wastewater and stormwater pipes are
  • reviewing or creating operational processes and maintenance procedures
  • talking to staff about leaks they may have seen and water efficiency tips.

Waterfix® Commercial
Our WaterFix Commercial program can provide a professional audit assessing all areas of your site as part of the service.

How to fix a leak

Once you know there's a problem, engage an experienced licensed plumber. We recommend that you:

  • get at least 3 quotes
  • check the plumber has experience in identifying and fixing leaks
  • fix the leak as soon as possible.

For leaks in specialist equipment for your industry, you may need to refer repairs to the manufacturer.

Waterfix® Concealed Leaks
Not all plumbers have the tools, skills and experience to locate leaks hidden underground or inside walls. Our WaterFix Concealed Leaks plumbers can locate the leak and quote for repairs. You can still get other quotes and use the plumber of your choice.

How to prevent leaks

Preventive maintenance can stop leaks before they start. Let staff know what to look for and report.

Conduct preventive maintenance

Schedule regular checks and maintenance to help you identify and avoid leaks. Include things like:

  • checking for leaks from toilets, urinals, taps and showers
  • identifying leaks in cooling towers, plants and equipment
  • monitoring wash tanks or storage tanks to ensure they don't overflow
  • replacing washers and seals regularly – or at the first signs of a leak.

Educate staff and contractors

Save money by educating staff and contractors to identify and report leaks. Ensure they know how much leaks cost your business, and how to identify and report them.

To raise leak awareness, you can:

  • place messages in staff newsletters
  • display posters or stickers in staff amenities
  • start a discussion on internal social media pages
  • hold a short session with staff to share water audit findings and generate water-saving ideas.

How we can support you

Your relationship manager can assist with managing your business's water use. Call 13 20 92 8am–5:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or email businesscustomers@sydneywater.com.au. They can:

  • assist with water management
  • help you identify leaks
  • discuss more monitoring options.

If you don't have a relationship manager, email waterfixcommercial@sydneywater.com.au.