As part of the larger overall plan for water savings in the school, it’s crucial to encourage everyone – pupils, staff and parents – to be mindful of water use and take active steps to help the school reduce waste.
A key part of the water plan is to have monitors who can check that all taps are turned off but the school should emphasise that everyone should take care to turn off the tap after use.
It’s essential to be active about this point and highlight the benefits with stickers and posters in all areas with taps as a constant reminder.
The monitors should also be tasked with reporting dripping taps. Too many faulty taps are left to leak for many months in schools where there is no active monitoring.
Don’t Ignore a Dripping Tap
A constantly dribbling tap can waste up to 50 litres of water a day, or 175,000 litres in a year, which would add around £300 to the water bills. Multiply that across the whole premises and the costs of that wastage are very significant.
The fault can often be fixed by simply fitting a new washer but it may be that the tap itself is worn out and would need to be replaced.
Schools should help monitors by designing and printing cards to report a dripping tap to the site manager or caretaker as well as cards to hang on the dripping tap to show that it is being fixed.
Plugs & Bowls
Simple and effective savings can be also achieved by buying plugs and washing up bowls for all the sinks in classroom and art rooms. The temptation always is to let taps run and having bowls and plugs are a reminder to conserve water.
Stem the Flow
Old taps will flow at up to 12 litres a minute and that can be cut by more than half by installing eco taps that mix air with the water stream to reduce overall consumption while not affecting usage.
Low-flow push taps and sensor taps can help to further reduce water use, with cost of purchase repaid through savings on bills over time. However, it’s worth bearing in mid that very young children find push taps hard to use.
Another budget option is to fit tap aerators that function in a similar way to eco taps, blending air and water to cut back on consumption and save costs.
It is also possible to fit flow restrictors in areas of high water pressure. These again help to reduce the total flow.