Water Conservation Guide for Business: 20 Tips to Reduce Water Usage
If you own or manage a company, you should consider how you and your employees conserve water, for which you need to follow a water conservation guide. Ensure that you are aware of how to deal with the many water conservation issues that businesses face, for the good of the planet and for the good of your business as well. Becoming greener helps companies save money, attract new customers, and elevate their brand above their competitors.
Sources of Water Waste for Businesses
There are numerous, sometimes surprising, ways you could be wasting water in your business operations:
- Untracked water use – Potential waste areas through untracked water use include leaks in water using systems or irregular spikes due to inefficient use of water, both of which can add up to a lot of wasted water.
- Employee Waste – Employees, whether they are working in person, at home, or are traveling, can generate a significant amount of a company’s water waste in areas such as bathrooms, water fountains, and kitchens.
- Lack of Water Recycling – Many commercial settings do not reuse any water when there is plenty of opportunity to do so. Continuing to waste this potentially reusable water will not only add to the ever-growing demand for water nationwide but can also lead to pollution if contaminated water is dumped into rivers and oceans.
- Inefficient Facilities and Practices – Many facilities and practices common in businesses today are extremely inefficient when it comes to conserving water. Whether it’s continuous flow faucets that can be left on or leak, or unneeded cleaning or cooling in the office, a lot of water gets wasted unnecessarily.
- Inefficient Landscaping Practices – Inefficient irrigation and sprinkler systems, overwatering, and the lack of use of reused water lead to countless gallons often wasted on landscaping.
How Can My Business Conserve Water?
Monitor Energy Usage
Assessing your company’s water usage is the first step in diagnosing and solving your company’s water conservation issues:
- Tip #1: Review Water Bills – Reviewing water bills monthly for any indications of leaks, such as leaky water fixtures and pipes, will help you ensure that you identify and repair leaks before they result in gallons of wasted water.
- Tip #2: Monitor Indoor Water Use – Monitor your water use on all fixtures, but especially those that use a continuous flow (e.g faucets without self-closing mechanisms) so you and your employees are aware of how much water you are really using.
- Tip #3: Monitor Outdoor Water Use – Installing a sub-meter will help you to monitor leaks and check for unusual spikes in water use
- Tip #4: Consult With a Plumber – Consult with a professional plumber to ensure that your business has all the bases covered in terms of water conservation.
Educate Employees on Water Conservation
- Tip #5: Employee Education – Educate your employees on the importance of water conservation and set conservation goals as a company for them to meet.
- Tip #6: Friendly Reminders – Remind yourself and your employees of your water conservation initiatives such as placing signs at sinks and water fountains telling them to be mindful of their water consumption.
- Tip #7: Self Monitoring – When employees are working outside of the office, they can still take part in company water conservation initiatives. Turning off the tap when it is not in use, shortening showers, and switching to reusable water bottles will help employees do their part in saving water, even at home.
- Tip #8: Booking Sustainable – When traveling for business, make sure to choose lodging that has sustainable practices in place.
Water Recycling and Reuse
- Tip #9: Implement Greywater Recycling – Greywater, which includes water from showers, bathtubs, sinks, kitchen, dishwashers, laundry tubs, and washing machine is often wasted. Greywater can be reused for irrigation and toilet flushing, which will end up saving your company money once all the proper systems are installed.
Water Efficient Technologies and Practices
- Tip #10: Use Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures – Consider self-closing, low-flow faucets. Great options include EPA WaterSense efficient models (e.g. toilets, faucets, showerheads, urinals)
- Tip #11: Install Energy Star Appliances – Installing Energy Star certified appliances designed to use less water than traditional appliances will save water.
- Tip #12: Reduce Air Conditioner Use – When appropriate, shut off water cooled AC units and use fans as an alternative.
- Tip #13: Replace Water-Cooled Equipment – If your company uses equipment that uses water cooling (e.g. ice machines, condensers, AC units), make the switch to air-cooled equipment to reduce water use.
- Tip #14: Reduce Water Pressure – Installing pressure-reducing valves can reduce your water pressure to less than 50 psi, which will result in less water waste over time.
- Tip #15: Alter Your Cleaning Practices – Switch from periodic cleaning to ‘as required’ cleaning schedule and clean surfaces using dry sweeping methods where applicable.
Water Efficient Landscaping Techniques
- Tip #16: Install Moisture Sensors – Install moisture sensors so that you can regulate your sprinkler systems based on the water need of the plants to ensure sprinklers only cover areas that need to be watered and are only active when necessary.
- Tip #17: Adjust Irrigation System – Optimize your water use to ensure your irrigation system has proper coverage, less runoff, and limited watering hours.
- Tip #18: Choose Native Plants – Plant local-friendly, native, drought tolerant plants that don’t require excess watering.
- Tip #19: Irrigate with Reused Water – Use reclaimed water, harvested rainwater, or greywater for plant irrigation.
Green Business Certification
- Tip #20: Become Green Business Certified – Becoming green business certified will help you identify potential areas where your company is wasting water and create a plan to move forward with increased water efficiency.
These water efficiency tips will save your company money and conserve precious resources. While some are simple switches and others more involved, these tips will make your company’s operations more efficient in the long run and improve your perception as a green company.
For in-depth guidance on how to make your business more sustainable and to get credit for following the tips in this article, consider joining a green certification business such as the Green Business Bureau.
Connor is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Providence College. He is passionate about educating others about sustainability. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his friends, go for walks in nature, and play sports.