Anglian Water has won an award for encouraging people to save water in the garden.
The Potting Shed, an on-line advice service with free offers and a link to the Royal Horticultural Society was awarded a first prize last night (Monday, September 17) in the Environment Agency and Waterwise UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012 at the House of Lords.
The announcements came during a month-long initiative by the agency to recognise the British businesses that are helping to drive green growth through careful waste, water and energy use, despite tough economic times.
Among them is Weetabix at Burton Latimer which is making significant reductions in its water usage.
Environment Agency water resources manager Iain Page said: “In the UK pressure on water resources is likely to increase due to population growth and climate change. Some parts of the country actually have less water available per head than some Mediterranean countries.”
The top place in the Landscape and Gardening section of the Water Efficiency awards was given to Anglian Water for its project to encourage the use of water-saving technologies and methods. The project aims to encourage its customers to change their attitude towards water use in the garden and educate them on how they can achieve good results, while being water-efficient.
Kits containing water-storing crystals, water-retaining mats, garden watering tips and a pocket guide to drought-tolerant plants was produced in collaboration with The Royal Horticultural Society. More than 30,000 garden kits have been distributed.
Anglian Water was instrumental in helping Weetabix locate and stop an underground leak at its production site and headquarters, near Kettering.
In 2010, three years into a pledge to reduce water usage by 20 per cent by 2020, Weetabix was making good progress when it discovered an underground leak in its water supply network which was losing over 140,000 litres of water every day.
Production runs 24 hours a day at the site, so the first time managers noticed unusual water consumption was during the Christmas shutdown.
The company enlisted the help of Anglian Water to try to trace any leaks and an extensive survey was carried out on the 75-acre site, much of it taking place at weekends to minimise disruption and continue to meet customer orders.
A significant leak was discovered on the rising main into the canteen which left unchecked would have wasted 50 million litres of water a year and cost as much as £100,000.
The company has signed up to the Food and Drink Federation Fivefold Environment Ambition on reducing water use, demonstrating its commitment to making further significant reductions in water usage.
Weetabix had also pledged to investigate opportunities to reduce effluent levels.
Sava Mirkovic, environment manager at Weetabix, said: “Our water strategy will help improve efficiency within our production process, cut the cost of water, wastewater and associated energy, and help to meet our corporate social responsibility pledges.”
Bob Wilson, director of Anglian Water Business said: “We looked closely at the Weetabix site, and came up with a detailed action plan where changes could be made to reduce the amount of water they used. We’ve now gone beyond this, and have developed a programme to engage all Weetabix employees in the importance of water efficiency, with the objective of permanently changing their attitude to water.
“Saving water on a scale like this not only saves money, but protects the environment as well.”