Water conservation is an important way for businesses to save money because of its relative ease of implementation and the returns it provides on conservation investments. For example, the replacement of old, water-wasting fixtures and appliances with newer ones will pay for itself in a relatively short period of time. All of that adds up to a healthier bottom line and benefits to the environment, as well. Below are several water conserving measures that you can implement in your business:
Install High-Efficiency Restroom Fixtures
The largest use of water within most businesses, not including factories and production facilities, is within the restrooms. That is why aiming the spotlight at wasteful plumbing fixtures is a good first step toward improved water conservation.
Toilets have steadily decreased the amount of water used per flush over the decades, with some older models built before the 1980s using five to seven gallons per flush. Today's toilets use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush, so by replacing older toilets, you can gain a significant amount of water savings.
For restrooms frequented by men, the installation of urinals, if not already in place, can be another means of conserving water. Modern urinals use less than a gallon of water per flush, and there are even waterless urinals available for those looking to absolutely minimize water use.
Another water conservation measure in bathrooms is the installation and use of automatic faucets. These devices use sensors to turn the flow of water on and off at the sinks; coupled with spray nozzles, which restrict water flow rates, this technology can greatly increase water efficiency.
Implement Water Conservation Policies
Depending on your business, the implementation of water conservation measures and policies can also greatly decrease the consumption of water. This requires the use of careful training so employees are able to know what to do, and guidelines should be made visible to everyone in the organization. A lack of information can neuter policies quickly and render them useless.
Here are a few practical water conservation policies you may wish to consider implementing:
Establish water-use baselines and measurable goals. These must be easily measured, or employees will not be able to hold themselves accountable.
Involve employees in water conservation measures. This can take the form of creating a resources committee where employees contribute ideas, or suggestions can be formally solicited from employees on an individual basis. Involving employees in the policy-creation phase can really increase buy-in and help with compliance.
Landscape Using Xeriscaping
Landscaping can be a huge drain on water resources, particularly during the summer months. Lawns are thirsty consumers of water, and certain types of plants also require frequent watering to stay alive. The key to improving water conservation in this circumstance is to replace thirsty plants with xeriscaped plants.
Xeriscaping is the use of plants that are drought-tolerant and do not demand large amounts of water to stay healthy. Many people think of cacti when they hear of xeriscaping, but the reality is there are many more options besides cactus. There are lots of flowering plants and succulents that are colorful and attractive, and you don't need to recreate a desert to obtain excellent results.
Obtain Professional Assistance
Water conservation isn't always as simple as it seems, so it can pay to contact an expert and get their advice. A good place to start is with a commercial plumbing company, like Cool Air Mechanical, Inc., that can provide you with information on water-conserving fixtures as well as perform the installation of such fixtures. In addition, the local water department may employ individuals who can consult with you free of charge or for a low cost to help you arrive at conservation measures for your business.