Water Auditing


Synseal is the UK’s fastest growing window and conservatory systems manufacturer. Plastic extrusion is a high volume manufacturing process in which plastic is melted into a continuous profile. The product is cooled by pulling the extruded section through a water bath and then cut to the desired length. It is these water baths and the water vapour losses that consume the vast majority of the water on site.

Synseal has achieved the ISO14001 Environmental accreditation and is committed to reducing waste. The company commissioned Briar to provide a comprehensive water survey to establish cost effective and practical water saving recommendations.


This programme commenced with identifying an historical water audit from the water bills. This enabled the comparison of water consumption to production and benchmarks for the industry, which provided an indicator of savings potential. In order to provide accurate information on potential water saving initiatives, the survey detailed the water consumption to all processes and water consuming activities. This provided a clear picture of how much water was being consumed, as well as the cost and current performance against industry standards. Understanding the volumes of water being used by each process enabled the evaluation of savings and effective recommendations to be defined.


The implementation of the recommendations identified will lead to annual water savings of 13,196m³ and cost savings of approximately £27,711. The investment cost is estimated at £23,500 to provide a payback period of just 0.8 years. This will deliver a 24% reduction in the volume of water and a 22% reduction in the financial cost of water.

Client Comment

“This report has been extremely valuable. We now have a clear plan of where we should be concentrating our water saving investment along with financial details of the potential opportunities.”

Andrew Walker, Purchasing Manager

Water Auditing
Bio Products Laboratory Ltd (BPL)

water audit

Project Overview

Bio Products Laboratory Ltd (BPL) produce pharmaceutical treatments from the complex transformation of plasma. The manufacturing requires significant water for both processes and for sterilisation.

Briar Associates were engaged to work closely with the sites engineering staff to audit water flow throughout the site, identifying points of consumption and opportunities to improve operations and controls. The key objective was to reduce water loading on the effluent plant that was at its discharge limits and could not support the planned expansion in production.


The aim was to provide an audit of water consumption throughout the production process to identify the volumes of water used and rejected from each process, to ultimately reduce the amount of water directed to the effluent plant.

The water balance provided comprehensive information on the flow of water throughout the production processes. This lead to immediate operational and control savings; in particular non-contaminated water streams were identified for re-use/recycling within the process, or directed away from the effluent treatment plant directly to drains. The reduction in effluent loadings achieved on the plant has released the capacity to achieve the expansion of the production facilities.

water auditing

The majority of sites across the UK only have the main incoming water meter to track consumption. This should be checked for accuracy and it also does not provide hourly/daily/weekly profiles and can’t provide data on water consumption in a particular area/process. Our ultrasonic water meters can do this and are useful in the identification of potential water leakages. The investment we have made in the latest measuring equipment means that we can deploy several meters at any site in the UK to provide accurate and reliable data. This usually delivers significant water and cost savings.

Client Comment:

“The use of the ultrasonic water meters has been essential in this project. We now have clear profile data of water consumption at each stage of our process.”

- Graham Davies, BPL Project Manager

Water & Sewerage Auditing
McArthur Glen Designer Outlets


McArthurGlen Group is Europe’s leading developer, owner and manager of designer outlet villages. It accommodates more than 2,000 stores in 20 outlet villages across Europe that are visited by nearly 75 million shoppers each year. The Group are committed to reducing their environmental impact and after a range of successful energy programmes engaged Briar to focus on water management.

Project Description

The objective of the programme was to identify cost-effective water efficiency opportunities. Initially, water audits were undertaken at the UK outlets, but the delivery of savings soon led to a full water audit programme across the European Designer Outlets.

The water audits were comprehensive and included the following:

  • Current and historical water consumption analysis
  • Tariff assessment—water, sewerage & surface water
  • Survey of water consumption metering, pipework distribution and utilisation
  • Audit of water & identification of anomalies
  • Water monitoring using non-intrusive doppler meters

Recommendations were reported as; No cost, tariff and operational improvements; Low cost, fast track, water saving (paybacks less than 2 years) and Longer term capital investment measures (paybacks greater than 2 years).

Water Savings & Benefits

Water savings of over £260,000 were identified with a payback period of less than 1 year 

  • McArthurGlen now have an improved understanding of the costs associated with water and how water is consumed across their outlets
  • A range of no cost operational measures were identified including pipework and system leakage that delivered significant immediate savings
  • On site borehole and water abstraction is also being further investigated as an opportunity

Competitive Water Procurement
Specsavers Optical Stores


Specsavers, as a growing global brand, are committed to sustainable development and forging environmental best practice. They have active programmes on energy, waste and water and these have delivered significant financial and carbon savings.

Briar have worked closely with Specsavers to deliver water savings through surveys, leakage investigation and retrospective rebates. The reform of the Scottish Water market provided a further opportunity through competitive water procurement.

Project Description

Briar collated water bills from 73 sites and undertook assessment of historic billing to achieve water benchmarking, retrospective rebates and tariff structure improvements.

Whilst savings were immediately realised through installing water meters, rather than billing on the basis of Rateable Value, the most significant future saving was delivered through competitive water service procurement.

A specification for the water supplies was prepared to enable a competitive tender to all water suppliers in Scotland. Negotiations were then undertaken to find the most cost effective supplier and agree the service levels and appropriate billing. The successful supplier was Aimera and we worked collaboratively to manage a seamless switch over process from the existing supplier.

Benefits to Specsavers

  • Annual water savings projected at £27,000 per year
  • Centralised electronic water billing
  • Accurate bills based on regular meter readings
  • Briar Account Manager and helpline to resolve issues and account