What is a water audit and how does it benefit your business?


A preliminary desktop water audit is the first step to saving you money on your water bills.

There are many different charges and tariffs that make up your water and waste water bills for example: –


  • Water Volume charges
  • Waste water volume charges
  • Water meter standing charges
  • Waste water meter standing charges  


All of the above vary according to site water and waste water volumes and for meter standing charges they are dependant on the size of the water meter and often the water supply pipe size.

The larger the supply pipe, normally the larger the water meter, hence the higher the standing charge.


Then there are other charges, special environmental discharge fees that could apply to fuel stations, airports and manufacturing sites.


Charges and tariffs for the collection and disposal of rainwater that falls onto the site, known as surface water drainage charges and a contribution to local authority rainwater drainage known as Highways Drainage charges.

The charges are often calculated on the site area of the property, the rateable value of the property or built into the volumetric waste water charges, much is dependant on site geographical locations.


Then there are other more complex tariffs based on water and waste water volumes such as volumetric charge bands, applying to water, waste water and trade effluent charges.


These various elements make up to total bill.


So what is a water audit ?


Commissioning a water audit, which is often completed at desk top level (so no site visit just yet) is an audit that examines water consumption and waste water discharges against a particular site in a specific industry.

The audit will compare your water use including volumes with what you are charged for.

The aim is to highlight any discrepancies which may have led you to being overcharged.

The general areas of examination would be but not limited to: –


  • Environmental charges
  • Standing charges
  • Volumetric charges both for water and waste 
  • Tariffs both wholesale and retail
  • Allowances against tariffs due to the specific operations
  • Surface water and highways charges 
  •  None potable water charges and tariffs
  • Special agreements
  • PFI agreements 
  • Components that make up waste water and trade effluent charges 
  • Water bulk purchasing agreements 
  • Maximum daily demand charges (MDD) potable and none potable tariffs
  • Profile industrial – Profile interruptible 


To name but a few !


The desktop water audit should include details of the existing charges, an indication of the likely savings and the site specific details and details of recommendations / next steps in order that you can be given a fairly accurate estimate of the potential savings without having to visit site.

An initial desktop water audit is always an excellent idea and well worth the effort, after all a potential 30 percent saving and a sizable refund due to a historical billing error is a distinct possibility.


Want to find out more about a water audit and now it can help your business ? get in touch with the H2O Building Services team today @ [email protected] or call 0845 658 0948