Water Consumption & Wastewater

Sustainable Tourism

Water Consumption & Waste Water

This toolkit is part of the Low Carbon Lake District 2 Project which is funded by the UK European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

This section is all about offering practical tips to help tourism and hospitality businesses reduce water consumption and make savings on company water bills. By using less water to start with, your business can cut wastewater costs too.

Top Tips on Water Efficiency

Measure to manage

  • Monitor your usage: Review your water bills. Also regularly read your meters and sub meters. Major increases may help you to identify a water leak sooner rather than later, potentially saving thousands of pounds in the process!
  • Accommodation providers can calculate the impact of their water using a water calculation tool developed by the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI).

Toilets and bathrooms

  • Fit basin taps in public bathrooms with push taps or infra-red controls.
  • Retrofit water-saving devices to older toilets (without dual flush), saving up to 13 litres per flush. Choose the correct size to retain an effective flush.
  • Use aerated shower heads which add air and provide the same force with less water, reducing water usage by up to 50%. Showers tend to use significantly less water than baths (excluding power showers).

Grey Water Recycling

Consider grey water recycling to treat ‘grey water’ from showers/baths or laundries for uses that don’t require fresh, drinkable water such as flushing toilets or watering the garden. Grey water recycling also reduces sewerage charges by reducing the total water output from your business.


  • Use water-efficient washing machines and dishwashers (A-rated or better).
  • Use low impact phosphate and chlorine free cleaning products to reduce the amount of cleaning liquid you need. Also buy concentrated to reduce packaging and costs.

Grounds and gardens

  • Use water butts to collect rainwater for watering plants and shrubs and investigate other water saving gardening products. Time watering for the beginning and end of the day.
  • Minimise hosepipe and sprinkler use, which can waste excessive amounts of water, particularly during the summer months.
  • Rethink your outside spaces: Minimise watering requirements by selecting plants and shrubs that are tolerant to dry conditions.

Ask The Experts – United Utilities

Always check for leaking pipes. They can waste an incredible amount of water and could be costing your business a lot of money. Tell-tale signs to help you spot leaks on your business premises include: damp patches in or outside your premises, lush vegetation in dry periods and leaking overflow systems.

United Utilities recommends appointing a member of staff as a water efficiency ambassador and asking them to work with your team to identify all the ways that the business is currently wasting water and where improvements can be made.

Simple steps including the introduction of water saving information, an employee suggestion scheme or arrange a water efficiency session can also raise staff awareness about the importance of using water wisely.

This toolkit is part of the Low Carbon Lake District 2 Project which is funded by the UK European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.