Water case study: Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre

Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre in County Dublin, Ireland, is a mid-sized outlet with 40 retail units.

Water leak management

The management in the shopping centre first began to investigate increasing water bills in 2009. Initially looking at the public toilets, they began by installing waterless urinals. During a routine overnight inspection in 2010, it was noted that the water meter was running despite no business activity. Management were able to locate and fix all obvious leaks which did reduce water usage but not significantly. A further more detailed nighttime survey found that they had eliminated leakage in landlord managed areas but that the meter was still running. 

Finding water leakage

Due to a lack of sub-metering of the tenant units they were not able to easily identify the source of the continuing leakage. It was communicated to all retail tenants the need to ensure water fittings were turned off at close of business which reduced some background water usage but there was still water being used at night. Management then asked to inspect all tenant units during business hours to identify issues. Leaking urinals and water heaters were found to be the biggest problem. One tenant’s water tank was also broken. None of these faults were causing flooding so in most cases tenants were not aware of the water being wasted. 

Savings and return on investment

After fixing all these outstanding leaks the Centre was able to calculate that their quarterly water usage had decreased from over 10,000m³ in 2010 to under 4,000m³ in 2012- a reduction of 63%. Since starting the water improvement programme, the centre has continued an ongoing cycle of monitoring and reduction measures. An on-line monitoring unit was fitted to the supply meter which gives continuous data of usage meaning any sudden changes in consumption can be tracked and further leaks identified. 

The total investment over just a two week period of €2,000 resulted in an impressive €51,147 p.a. reduction in total water bills. The Centre was then able to pass on these savings on to retail tenants in the form of reduced service charges. They were also able to promote the green image of Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre to shoppers and tenants alike. 

Find out more here:

https://greenbusiness.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/green-business-for-web.pdf (p22-23)