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Water Saving Tips for Businesses

Water Saving

 

Conservation tips to save water (and money) at your facility.

Inside:

  • Install low-flow faucet aerators. Swap out your original faucet aerators with affordable, low-flow aerators on existing fixtures to reduce water use by up 30% or more. We recommend 0.5 gallons per minute (GPM) aerators for bathroom sinks and 1.5 GPM aerators for kitchen sinks. You should also clean your aerator regularly to make sure it’s operating correctly. If you notice a change in performance even with cleaning, it’s time to replace your aerator.
  • Install low-flow toilets and urinals. While we require our Certified Green Businesses to have at least 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) toilets, there are many available that flush 1.28 GPF. These save 20% more water than the 1.6 GPF models. Read more about the EPA’s resource on commercial toilets. Likewise, a typical office building could reduce its water use from old, inefficient urinals by 26,000 gallons per year or more. Read more about water-efficient urinals.
  • Install low-flow showerheads. If your business has shower facilities for your employees or customers, be sure you have low-flow showerheads installed to not only save water but also to save on your water heating costs. Conventional showerheads use 2.5 GPM of water, while low-flow in CA should use no more than 1.5 GPM. 
  • Use water-efficient pre-rinse spray valves. Pre-rinse spray valves can account for nearly one-third of the water used in a typical commercial kitchen. Switching to a high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve can save you more than 7,000 gallons of water per year.

 

Outside:

  • Switch to a drip irrigation system. Sprinkler systems can be extremely inefficient, often watering sidewalks and losing water to evaporation loss before it touches the ground. Drip irrigation can reduce water use by 30 to 70 percent compared to conventional sprinkler irrigation while increasing soil and plant health and reducing maintenance costs. Learn more about the benefits of installing drip irrigation at your business. 
  • Select water-smart plants. Switch your water-guzzling turf and landscaping to water-smart plants that are native to California. The CA Department of Water Resources has a water-efficient landscaping website to help you and your landscaping team select water-efficient plants appropriate for your region.
  • Use smart sensors to monitor irrigation. Consider investing in smart sensors that connect to your irrigation system. Simple versions can be soil moisture sensors that make sure you are not overwatering your landscaping. “Smarter” versions can do all kinds of tricks, such as connecting to weather forecasting to avoid overwatering depending on approaching weather. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has information and maintains a list of WaterSense approved irrigation controllers that will help you monitor and reduce water use in your landscaping. 
  • Not the one who cares for the landscaping? Get in touch with your groundskeeper, or talk to your landlord about theirs. This is a great opportunity to discuss watering times, irrigation, and complying with local ordinances. 
  • Make the most of available resources. Check with your local water utility for potential commercial opportunities. Many may have rebates or incentives for low-flow toilets, smart sensors, turf replacement, and more! They may also have free assessments available where they can come to your facility, give tips and check for leaks. Also, check out regional programs (such as SoCal Water Smart or Cal Water) for similar options. 

 

Check for water leaks inside and outside:

Water leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water per year, in addition to increasing your utility bills. Add leak checks to your regular maintenance schedule to be sure that you or your maintenance staff are continually checking, reporting, and fixing leaks. You can also enlist employees to report any leaks they notice. The EPA has a handy checklist for businesses to add to their ongoing facility maintenance. Download the checklist now!

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