Leak prevention

What your business can do to prevent leaks

Water leaks on your site can account for 15% of your water use. That's why preventing and repairing leaks is one of the easiest ways for you to save water and money for your business, and it involves minimal capital outlay. There are lots of measures you and your staff can take to spot, prevent and repair leaks.

Conduct a water audit

Before you can fix leaks, you have to find them. We recommend that you systematically review all the parts of your business that use water. This will also help you better understand water use across your business. It will allow you to:

  • identify leaks
  • see water use patterns
  • establish a water balance to see how much water comes in and out of your business.

A water audit may include:

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

Maintain your fittings

Set up a program of regular checks and maintenance to help you identify and avoid leaks. This includes:

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

Check your bill

Check your bill and compare it with previous bills for the same time period. If there are increases in water use you can't account for, you may have a leak.

Find out more about your account.

Monitor your meter

Don't wait for your bill to find out how much water you've used. Regular meter readings can help you identify leaks. These are the things you can do:

  • Read your meter at the end of your business day and then at the start of your next business day. If there's a difference in the reading, you may have a leak.
  • Install an online monitoring system to track water use every 5–15 minutes. You can install a data logger on your meter yourself or engage an expert.
  • Install data loggers or more permanent sub meters on different parts of your business to compare water use across different areas. 

Benchmark your water use

If you're not sure how much water you should be using, compare your water use to other businesses in your industry. Benchmarks for water use are a great way to find out typical water use for similar business activities. Once you know how much water your business should be using, it's easier to see if you might have a leak.

Educate staff and contractors

Save money by educating staff and contractors to identify and report leaks. Staff should know:

  • how much money leaks cost your business
  • how to identify leaks
  • how to report leaks.

You could spread the word by:

  • placing messages in staff newsletters
  • putting up posters or stickers in staff amenities
  • starting a discussion on internal social media pages
  • holding a short session to share the findings of your water audit and engage staff in developing water-saving ideas.

Hire a plumber

If you've identified a problem, engage an experienced licensed plumber. We recommend that you:

  • get at least 3 quotes
  • check that 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.

Do you have a business customer representative?

If a business customer representative has been assigned to your business, please contact them to:

  • help your business with water management
  • help you identify leaks 
  • discuss additional monitoring options.

Data loggers

A data logger is a temporary water meter that collects data about water use. You can use them in different parts of your business to track where water is being used.