The mysterious night-time water thief

One day, Life’s Head of Property was looking at how much water the Science Centre uses, when he noticed something odd. Life was using dozens of litres of water overnight.

There’s hardly anybody here overnight, and they don’t drink that much coffee. Was there a leak? Was someone leaving the tap running? The Property team searched high and low for a leak. They checked if the washers in the kitchen were running overnight. They checked every tap in every toilet and kitchen was turned off. But still there was unexplained water disappearing from the system. Eventually, someone went to look at the urinals.

No one wants to look at urinals. But if you’d hid all night in one of the men’s toilets at the Life Science Centre (not sure why you would?), you would have noticed something odd. Instead of just a little water trickling through occasionally to keep the place fresh and make that delightful cleaning job a little easier, the water just kept on running. It was still just a trickle, but a constant one. The valves that control the water weren’t working.

The next morning, the Property team got straight on it and the valves were replaced. Now there’s no water running through the urinals at night when there’s no one here to use them, and our water use statistics look a lot more healthy. Just one of the ways that knowing what’s going on with our buildings helps us to reduce waste.

Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues are working together on the first Green Week, from Monday 11 – Sunday 17 September 2017. The week aims to raise awareness of environmental issues, and will focus on five main areas: paper, water, food waste, energy and travel.

Find out more about NGCV Green Week >

About Naomi Foster

I'm a Public Engagement Officer. My job involves developing science shows and public workshops, organising lectures for big people and our preschool days for little people. Any excuse to play! I'll be keeping you posted about some of the things I've got coming up.
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