Business utilities are similar to household utilities in that you have to pay to receive your water, energy and gas services.
However, there might be some hidden knowledge that you are unaware of when it comes to your business water supply.
Let’s start off with the basics:
What does the Open Water Market Mean?
This is also known as market deregulation and refers to the opening of the retail sector to new companies which gives businesses the opportunity to choose their water supplier.
How is Your Business Getting their Water Supply?
There are three types of water pipes that make up your water supply network.
- Water mains
This is where the water is distributed from the main network.
- Communication pipes
These are the pipes that carry the water from the main water area through to your business supply pipes.
- Supply pipes
These are the pipes that supply your water on your business premise.
How is Your Business Getting Rid of the Used Water?
Just as you receive clean water and use it throughout the business, the same water has to be sent back to the water supplier so that this cycle is repeated daily.
The removal of waste water from your property is also grouped into three different outlets, these are:
- Public sewers
Public sewers are used to take away waste water and any surface water from different properties to get treated.
Drains are on your property and will carry any waste water from your property to the public sewers.
- Private sewers
These are a collection of pipes that carry waste water from the property to get treated by the water company.
To understand how the drainage system works, you need to understand the difference between wastewater, trade effluent and surface water.
Business Drainage Systems
Wastewater is the domestic waste from humans such as toilet water, bathing and washing hands. Surface water is the water from rain, this water is often on buildings, roads and washes off into the sewer systems.
Trade effluent refers to liquid waste that has gone through commercial processes and contains other materials such as chemicals, oils, fats and solids.
Your sewerage system is made up of four key sections which makes up the sewage network. These are:
- Surface water sewers
These sewers carry rainwater to streams and rivers.
- Combined sewers
These pipes carry both surface water and wastewater for treatment.
- Foul sewers
These pipes carry the waste water from businesses to treatment facilities.
You will need a trade effluent consent if your business is releasing contaminated water into drains and combining it with waste water products.
Understanding Your Business Water Supply Contract
Any contract can seem very confusing but here’s what is included to help you make sense of it all.
The contract covers both your business water and your sewage needs. These are the services that are provided by your water supplier:
- Water supply
- Sewage supply
- Customer service
- Emergency provisions
There are also ancillary services that are covered by your water supplier.
- Leaks detection and repairs
- Bill validation
- Automated metre readings
- Tariff optimisation
What is Your Business Being Charged For?
The important thing to bear in mind is that you might get two separate bills if you have two suppliers for your water and sewage needs.
The charges on your water bill will be as follows:
- Water Services
You will pay a volumetric rate for your water if your business has a metre as well as a fixed standing charge which covers the billing and customer service costs.
If you do not have a water metre on the business premises, you will be charged a rateable value of the business property, this is worked out as a calculation of the properties value by checking the location, size and how close it is to utility services.
- Sewage Services
These charges cover the collecting and treatment and the disposing of sewage water. The charges are also calculated according to either your metre or your rateable value.
- Trade Effluent Services
For trade effluent charges it is billed according to the Mogden formula which is a calculated set price of the treatment and the collection of your wastewater. If there are less chemicals in your waste water, the trade effluent charges will be cheaper.
Business Water Supply Facts To Be Concerned About
Although businesses have access to water all the time, there are some facts that they need to consider when it comes to business water.
Water wastage has made it difficult for businesses to save water if they are unaware of how their business is wasting.
- A smart metre can help detect any leaks
Sometimes a leak can be undetectable but using a smart metre can help you pickup the leakage when automatically monitoring your water usage.
- Worry about the “jaws of death”
With the rise in climate change and the effects it has on the water supply, the jaws of death refers to the fact that we might end up having no water. This is why businesses should control their water wastage.
- Dripping taps
At first, a dripping tap might seem like it’s not a big problem, however, it can accumulate to a litre of water being wasted.
- Get water audits done
Water audits can help you establish how much water is being used and implement ways in which the business can save water.
With the opportunity to choose your own water supplier and to get the most out of your business water supplier you should always do a thorough research of your contract and what your business needs to ensure that you are on the right track.
Ensure that you are using the services properly and also paying your bills on time to avoid having your services disconnected or an added fine charged to your account. Always check your monthly bills to make sure you are getting what you are paying for and to make sure that you aren’t wasting any water or adding on to your business waste water output.