What happens when your business water supply is interrupted?

The importance of a water contingency plan for your business

Occasionally, unplanned events and incidents can occur that can affect your business water supply, particularly leaks and burst pipes over the winter period. Your business uses water, whether it’s for drinking or it’s part of your operations, an interruption could mean having to close, so it’s worth knowing what happens if there’s an issue with your supply.

What will a water wholesaler do if your business water supply is interrupted?

Across the UK, water wholesalers work hard to keep the water flowing, but when there’s a problem domestic customers and sensitive sites are prioritised for alternative supplies. It’s usually your responsibility to find your own alternative supply if your commercial business can’t operate without water.

What will a water retailer do if your business water supply is interrupted?

As a commercial water retailer, we’ll be alerted by the water wholesaler if there’s an issue with your water supply.

We can support you with a range of alternative water supplies and contingency planning services so that you can take control and plan for and respond if there’s a disruption to your water.

What is classed as a sensitive commercial site?

Sensitive commercial sites are split into four categories.

  • Category 1 – Sites such as hospitals and prisons where closure is logistically impossible. These sites are given Site Specific Arrangements (SSA) with emergency contact details and details of pre-arranged requirements like tankers and bottled water.
  • Category 2 – Sites such as care homes and hospices where a loss of supply could result in risk to life. These sites may receive a less comprehensive version of an SSA.
  • Category 3 – Sites such as schools and critical businesses where an interruption could impact the economy. These sites may receive an SSA.
  • Category 4 – Sites such as farms, zoos and vets where animal health is at risk. These customers are given use of non-potable water resources for animal welfare.

What is a business water contingency plan?

A business water contingency plan helps your business to put plans in place for if there was an incident that affected your water. Following an assessment of your site, it’s tailored to your business, with details on how and where emergency water could be delivered. They’re particular important if an issue with supply would cause major disruption or health and safety challenges, shown in this case study at Associated British Ports.

Does my business need a water contingency plan?

There’s lots to consider when thinking about the impact that having no water would have on your business. Can your employees work from home? Could you stay open with bottled water and alternative toilets, or do you need water for your processes? By highlighting the possible risks, it’ll help you decide how in-depth your contingency plan needs to be.

If the impact is very low and you could still operate with no water, you may not need to arrange alternative supplies and could consider a plan for closing the site.

If your business can’t be closed but the impact would still be low, creating an account with our partner, Water Direct, means you’ll have access to bottled water and alternative supplies in an emergency.

If water is used in your processes and you can’t close, a formal contingency plan will give you peace of mind. Your plan will detail what tankers and bottled water you’d need, where a tanker could inject water into your network and how a tanker could access your site. This would be held by Water Direct and made accessible 24 hours a day so help can be deployed quickly and efficiently.

Our supporting partner Water Direct

Our partner, Water Direct, are experts in planned and emergency water services operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They’re nationwide and work directly with organisations to create solutions for temporary water supply.

For more information or to get a quote, complete our form and one of our Water Efficiency Services team will be in touch.