Business Water Conservation
Local businesses from hotels to restaurants can be major consumers of water resources and therefore provide substantial water conservation opportunities. Becoming water smart means you will continue to provide the same level of service yet with reduced consumption.
Direct Benefits to Your Business
- Reduce water, energy and maintenance costs (as much as 30 %).
- Demonstrate leadership and responsible environmental practices.
Target Areas of Highest Consumption and Develop a Plan
Identify the areas of your business where water consumption is highest. For many businesses, washrooms and food service are high demand areas. Next, implement the 3-R's of conservation (Reduce, Repair, Retrofit).
- Collect water use information on a simple blueprint of your facility. This might include the kitchen, washrooms, drinking fountains, laundry facilities, lawns and gardens.
- Assess the possibility of reducing use. Repair or replace inefficient plumbing and appliances.
- Get your staff involved! This will provide support for the project and be good for your public image.
- Set water conservation goals.
- Revisit goals at designated time periods.
- Let people know your company is practicing water conservation. For example, place conservation information in the washrooms.
- Repair leaky toilets and faucets. [ Click Here ]
- Consider installing energy efficient equipment such as low-flush toilets, and sensor-operated faucets and urinals, and low-flow aerators. [ Click Here ]
- Thaw foods in the refrigerator not under a running tap.
- Pre-soak utensils and dishes in basins of water, rather than in running water
- Turn off faucets when not in use. Consider installing foot trigger or automatic shut-off devices to reduce waste.
- Operate dishwashers and glass-washers only when full, replace spray heads to reduce flow.
- Consider retrofitting or replacing older refrigeration units and water-cooled air conditioners.
Dining Areas in Restaurants
- Advise customers that water will only be served when requested. The following information is distributed in many restaurants "By serving water only when you ask, we are helping to conserve our precious water resource. Every glass of water takes 3 additional glasses for washing, rinsing and chilling."
Automotive and Marine Businesses
- Discover what toxic materials are on site and establish ways of eliminating the introduction of these toxins into waterways.
- Check out the Best Management Practice Guidebooks provided by the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES).
- Only wash full loads of laundry.
- Many hotels offer patrons the choice of reusing bath towels to reduce laundering. This will reduce both water and energy costs.
- Evaluate wash formula and machine cycles for water use efficiency.
- Lower water levels to reduce the amount of water splashed out, or channel splashed-out water back into the pool or onto landscaping.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when the pool is not being used.
- Reduce the amount of water used to clean a pool.
Lawns and Landscaping
- "Xeriscaping" is landscaping in harmony with local climates and natural resources. It will reduce water consumption and showcase local plants and habitats. (RDN waterwise pdf)
- Follow the RDN's Watering Schedule.
- Check irrigation supplies to ensure there are no leaks. [ Click Here ]