Water conservation is something few of us think about at work. Since we don’t get the bill there, we’re not aware of the cost and quantity of our consumption. But our offices and factories consume huge quantities of water, so saving on the job should be everyone’s business. Read on for water saving tips at work.
Post a hotline in bathrooms and kitchens to report leaks or water waste to facility managers or maintenance personnel.
Create a suggestion and incentives system at your organization to recognize water-saving ideas.
Include a water-saving tip in your employee newsletter featuring how much water can be saved with each action. Find 100+ tips at wateruseitwisely.com.
Implement a water management plan for your facility, then educate employees on good water habits through newsletters and posters.
Publish your organization’s monthly water use to show progress toward water-saving goals.
Invite your water utility conservation staff to your organization for Earth Day and other environmental events to help promote water savings.
Have a water audit done for your facility to find out the recommended water use for your operations, then make sure someone monitors your utility bills to gauge your monthly consumption.
Have maintenance personnel regularly check your facilities for leaks, drips and other water waste.
If you use processed water in your business or facility, look into water recycling and reuse.
Contact your water utility to see if rebates are available for purchasing water-efficient fixtures, equipment or for facility audits.
Consider and compare water use when purchasing things like ice makers, dishwashers, reverse osmosis units, coolers and cleaning equipment.
Appoint or volunteer to be a water conservation champion within your organization and create, implement and maintain your water conservation program.
Look for WaterSense®-labeled fixtures the next time you purchase or replace toilets, showerheads and faucets for greater efficiency and performance.
Become a proud WaterSense® partner and let all your customers know.
As part of the WaterSense® Fix-A-Leak Week in March, plan an employee campaign to look for leaks.
Determine how your on-site water is being used by installing sub-meters where feasible, then monitoring for savings.
Hire a GreenPlumber® to help reduce your water use with practices that use less energy, less water, and fewer chemicals.
Conduct a facility water use inventory for domestic plumbing (sinks, toilets, showers), heating and cooling (cooling towers, boiler blow-down), kitchen plumbing (dishwasher, ice machines), process water (cooling, rinsing, chemical dilution), water features (pools, spas, fountains) and landscape irrigation. Then identify water management goals.
Don’t forget hidden water-use costs, such as energy for pumping water, water heating and cooling, chemical treatment, water damage and sewer expenses.
Show your company’s dedication to water conservation by creating a written policy statement and by committing management, staff, time and other resources to the effort.
Shut off water to unused areas of your facility to eliminate waste from leaks or unmonitored use.
Create a goal of how much water your company can save and plan a celebration once that goal is met.
Ask employees for suggestions on saving water and give a prize for the best ideas. Incentivize it!
Write feature articles on your employee website that highlight water-saving ideas and successes.
Test your co-worker/employees knowledge on topics like xeriscape (water-efficient landscape that’s appropriate for your environment, WaterSense® (EPA’s new program) and HET toilets (high efficiency toilets) to see how water-wise they are.
Hire a WaterSense® irrigation partner to help with your landscape.
Saving water in your landscape adds up quickly, so send the person in charge of your landscape to an irrigation workshop.
Track the weather and water use in the landscape. Water use should decrease during rainy periods and increase during hot, dry periods.
Visit your local Water Conservation office’s website to get information on programs available to businesses.
Make sure your contract plumber and/or maintenance personnel knows about GreenPlumbers®
Ask your company to sponsor or volunteer at events that support water conservation and education. ProjectWet is nationwide organization that hosts local events throughout the country.
Support Tap Into Quality and forgo those plastic water bottles to lower your carbon footprint.
Scrape dishes rather then rinse them before washing.
Use water-conserving icemakers.
A recent study that focused on business sustainability and environmental responsibility showed that 99% of business managers surveyed ranked water conservation as a “top five” priority over the next decade.
If your facility is cooled with cooling towers, have maintenance staff or facility managers maximize cycles of concentration by providing efficient water treatment.
Be sure your irrigation system is watering only the areas intended, with no water running onto walks, streets or down the gutter.
Using a hose and nozzle to clean sidewalks uses 8 to 12 gallons of water per minute. With a pressurized Waterbroom®, you will clean more efficiently and use as little as 2.8 gallons of water per minute
Make sure landscape irrigation systems are operating properly by inspecting regularly for leaks or broken sprinkler heads and adjusting pressures to the equipment specifications.
Make sure your landscape is getting the proper amount of irrigation water. Determine water needs, water deeply but infrequently and adjust your controller to the season.
Establish a monthly water budget for your landscape based on the water needs of your plants. Learn more from a WaterSense® certified irrigation auditor, your utility water conservation office, or from your local cooperative extension office.
Limit turf areas at your facility. Instead, landscape using xeriscape principles to cut water use in half.
Place decorative fountains on a timer and use only during work or daylight hours. Periodically check for leaks if you have automatic refilling devices.
Wash company vehicles at commercial car washers that recycle water.
Wash company vehicles as needed rather than on a schedule. Stretch out the time in between washes.
Consider turning your high-maintenance water feature/fountain into a low-maintenance art feature or planter.
When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They are more water and energy efficient.
Upgrade older toilets with water-efficient models.
Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses.
When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash. Pour it on a plant.
Source: Water Use It Wisely
While South Africa does not (yet) have a formal organisation such at Water Sense, South Africans can access information from overseas and local water conservation organisations, including the huge amount of information on this website (www.rainharvest.co.za). Businesses and factories can save money and water by investing in water conservation programmes and educating their staff. In many cases, businesses can also install rainwater harvesting systems and rainwater tanks as well as grey water recycling systems.
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