Home / Resources / Save through water efficiency

Save through water efficiency

Being efficient with your water resources not only helps improve the bottom line, but aligns your business with environmental goals that can attract eco-conscious customers and investors.

Great ideas for businesses to reduce water usage

Minimising water use can save your business money and reduce your environmental footprint. Making changes to how you think about water usage will set you on the right path, and sometimes it is the simple things that make a longer-term difference.

Food businesses that are making a difference in the way they manage their water consumption are well on the way to being eligible for the Best Bites program.

Monitoring your water usage is the first step in understanding where you can save. Using less is always the best option, here are some ways to get started:

Monitoring your water use by reviewing your water bills and consumption can save you money. Refer to South East Water’s web page on how to check for water leaks [Note: although it is a residential specific page, the processes can be applied to businesses].

Identifying leaks such as dripping taps or leaking cisterns so they can be repaired promptly is a quick win.  Hidden leaks are harder to identify but monitoring water usage can help.

Look up waterrating.gov.au to find out how water efficient your appliances are

Upgrading to water saving taps and shower heads can reduce the flow markedly while still giving adequate water to wash hands or shower.

Dual flush toilets really can save water (average 3.3L/ flush). If changing toilets from a single flush to a dual flush toilet is not an option, try placing a brick in the cistern so that it holds less water for each flush.

Installing sensor or timed taps in bathrooms can save water as well.

Get great ideas on how to deliver better water efficiency for your business from South East Water

You can also call or visit the Shire’s Eco Living Display Centrein Mt Martha for ideas. 

Whether your business is a hairdresser with a tiny staff kitchenette, or a restaurant with a commercial kitchen you can save a lot of water by not pre-rinsing dirty dishes under a running tap.

Food businesses can also save water by rinsing vegetables in a sink filled with water (rather than the tap).

Running full loads through a dishwasher or washing machine also will save water.

Install a water efficient dishwasher (refer to the WELS water ratings).

Being responsible for how you use water includes managing your wastewater. Preventing it from entering local drains and waterways keeps our environment healthy.

  • Avoid hosing/sweeping rubbish from footpaths into gutters
  • Make sure staff know which drains are stormwater and which are sewer. Dirty water needs to be put into the sewer, or a drain connected to a grease trap. Do not pour wastewater down the nearest gutter or drain as these could be linked to the stormwater system.
  • Dedicated grease traps need to be installed and maintained to South East Water’s requirements
  • If your business has a septic tank system, make sure that it is serviced and maintained regularly
  • The Mornington Peninsula Shire poster and/or fridge magnet with information regarding ‘Preventing Stormwater Pollution’ is in a highly visible location to inform staff
  • You can find out more ideas on how to prevent stormwater pollution on the Shire’s website.

Conserving water starts with behaviour changes.

  • Try quick wins like training staff to turn taps off when not in use.
  • You can save water by making sure staff sweep and mop floors rather than hosing them clean
  • Make sure you include details of water saving procedures in your staff handbook, staff newsletters, induction or in on-the-job training
  • Get together with other like-minded businesses to bulk buy water efficient equipment.
  • Have conversations with your staff and customers about ways you are reducing your water usage.
  • Make sure your policies and staff handbooks are backed up with clear signage around the business.
  • Be proud of what you are doing and include information in your newsletters and social media to customers and staff.

  • Collecting water off your roof into a water tank diverts it from the stormwater system.
  • Consider getting your tank system adapted by a plumber so that you can water your low water usage designed garden, run your washing machine, or to flush your toilets.
  • Make sure to clearly sign which water is used for what.

Quick links

Sometimes knowing where to start can be confusing. To help your business navigate becoming more accessible, and celebrating diversity and inclusion we have pulled together some sustainability case studies about local businesses doing things really well for you to read, check out the latest relating to sustainability news or see what sustainability events are programmed for the near future.

New events are being released all the time, so subscribe to the newsletter to ensure you find out what is coming up.

Content reviewed and updated: December 2023

Sustainability Water saving
a cartoon woman surrounded by question marks

Frequently asked questions

We’ve compiled a list of common enquiries along with some helpful information and solutions.

How we can help
a cartoon man looking at a big newspaper

Receive regular news updates

Industry insights, upcoming events, and advice for your business direct to your inbox.