Workplace Water Efficiency: Quick Tips to Save Water and Money

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that over the past decade, water rates have risen “at a rate well above the consumer price index.”

There are many simple, cost-effective measures you can employ to conserve water and money in your business. Key areas to start focusing on are the three biggest culprits of water usage: restrooms, landscaping, and HVAC equipment.

Restroom Upgrades

Did you know that something as simple as a leaky toilet can waste as much as 21,600 gallons of water per month? This adds up to $2,100 per year! Toilet and urinal flushing typically account for 1/3 of a commercial building’s water consumption.

Inspecting restroom faucets and other fixtures for leaks is a simple way to save water. Look to replace bathroom fixtures with low-flow or ultra-low-flow models. Look for plumbing fixtures certified by the EPA’s WaterSense Program, using 20% less water without compromising performance.

Outdoor Water Use

We’ve all seen it: a sprinkler system running during a rainstorm. Landscaping water usage can account for 20% of your facility’s water consumption, making it a target area when looking to conserve water and lower your bill.

Using native plants, reducing grassy areas, use weather-based and seasonal irrigation schedules (adding a rain sensor on your irrigation system and watering less on cooler days) and installing WaterSense-certified irrigation products will all save your business money. Consider fitting your hoses with automatic shut-off nozzles and spreading mulch around landscaping as well.

HVAC Cooling Systems

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, water used in HVAC cooling towers accounts for nearly all of an HVAC system’s water consumption.

All cooling towers lose water through evaporation, drift (water lost when water droplets are transported in exhaust air), and blowdown (water drained from cooling equipment to remove mineral build-up). Keep your cooling towers in good working condition through regular inspection and maintenance so your system operates at peak efficiency.

workplace water efficiency

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense program

Investing in cooling towers that use recycled water, such as storm water, and using cooling tower blowdown to water your landscaping are other great ways to conserve water.

Develop a Water Management Plan

Routinely monitor your facility’s water usage. If things seem off or you’re paying more than you anticipated, there’s a good chance you have inefficiencies that can be corrected.

Develop a workplace water management plan to cut down on water usage and trim your water bill. By taking a few simple steps, you can save water and money, helping the environment in the process.

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