Water Saving Tips for Business
As California faces extreme drought conditions, your commitment to conservation is needed now. Making water conservation part of your daily routine will save both water and money every day.
Explore ways to conserve water at your business:
- Faucet Aerators and Showerheads
- High Efficiency Clothes Washers
- Ice Machines
- Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
- Learn How To Read Your Water Meter
- Detect Leaks
- Water Pressure
- Water-Efficient Landscaping
- ULFT's: Ultra-low-flush toilets (ULFT's) use 1.6 gallons per flush and are much more water efficient than older toilets, which use up to 7 gallons per flush. Each installed ULFT can save 70 gallons a day in water use.
- HET's: High-Efficiency toilets (HET) flush at least 20% below the US maximum of 1.6 gpf, equating to 1.28 gpf or less. Many HET's are dual-flush toilets, which have two separate flush volume options, a half flush (0.8 gallons) and a full flush (1.6 gallons).
- Dual-flush handle retrofit for flushvalves: This water saving mechanism retrofits to most existing valves and reduces water volume by up to 30% when activated for half-flush.
- HEUs: High-Efficiency Urinals (HEUs) are defined as fixtures that function at 0.5-gpf or less. Based on data from studies of actual usage, these urinals save 20,000 gallons of water per year with an estimated 20-year life.
- Urinal retrofit kit: The flush volume in typical 1.0 gallon per flush urinals can be retrofitted with a 0.5 gpf diaphram kit. This is a great cost-effective way to turn the ultra-low flush urinal into a high-efficiency urinal.
Faucet Aerators and Showerheads
Faucet Aerators and Low-Flow Shower Heads: Installing faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads is one of the most effective water conservation method you can use for your home or office.
- Faucet Aerators: Standard aerators are devices that are designed to reduce the flow of the water coming out of the faucet while introducing air into the water flow. That is why they are called "aerators". Water has to pass through very small holes and spreads out to cover more surface. If an aerator is already installed on your faucet, it will usually have its rated flow (in gallons per minute or gpm) imprinted on the side. If there appears to be an aerator installed, but there is no flow rate stamped on the side, the aerator may not be a low flow type and should be replaced with a new one. For restroom faucets, the flow rate should be 0.5 gpm or less, and for kitchen faucets and shower heads, the flow rate should be 1.5 gpm or less. If no aerator is visible, check to see if there are threads just inside the tip of the faucet. Most modern faucets are threaded to accept aerators.
- Some designer faucets have an internal built in "laminar" restrictor. Laminar restrictors work differently than standard faucet aerators by producing dozens of parallel streams of water. You can ask the manufacturer for the flow rate of these faucets or Green Business Program staff can help you measure the flow rate of your unstamped faucet aerators.
- If your faucets are not threaded for aerators, installing Flow Control Valves or Flow Regulator devices are the best option for reducing flow rates since the flow can be varied to fit the function. Located under the sink, flow control valves go undetected by the faucet user.
- Dishwashers use at least two times less water than washing by hand.
- Commercial dishwashers may use less than 3 gallons per cycle.
High Efficiency Clothes Washers
High Efficiency Clothes Washers (HECWs) utilize technological advances to deliver excellent wash performance while saving both water and energy. Resource efficient models use 35-50% less water and approximately 50% less energy. The water efficiency of clothes washers is rated using the term "water factor" to describe and compare its water use. Water factor is measured by the quantity of water (gallons) used to wash each cubic foot of laundry. A lower water factor represents greater water and energy efficiency.
Ice Machines Water-cooled ice machines use far more water and energy than air-cooled models.
Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
Pre-Rinse Spray Valves A low-flow pre-rinse spray valve is one of the easiest and most cost effective energy saving devices available to the foodservice operator. In addition to minimizing water consumption, water heating energy and sewer charges are also reduced. Pre-rinse spray valves can use as little as 0.65 gallons per minute compared with older models that use 3 or more gallons per minute.
Learn How To Read Your Water Meter
There are several reasons why your business should be able to locate and read your water meter. By reading your meter at the beginning and the end of the day you can determine how much water your business has used. You can also use the reading to check for leaks.
Once you figure out how to read the water meter, you can use it to detect leaks, notice sudden spikes in usage, and monitor daily usage.
When water pressure is too high it wastes water and causes stress to pipes and fixtures. Water should enter the property at 45 to 60 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). Water pressure over 60 psi can cause a strain on your plumbing fixtures or pipes and can even cause bursts in the water line. Pressure in excess of 80 psi may void warranties in some appliances and fixtures.
This refers to the conservation of water through landscaping. With water considered an expensive and limited resource, all landscaping projects, residential or commercial, can benefit from this alternative and almost any landscaping style can be achieved.