Reducing water consumption has become an increasingly important concern for facility managers.
There are environmental sustainability factors at play, and recurring droughts across North America have highlighted why this is a growing need to address.
Facility managers have been learning from past mistakes, and significant strides have been made when it comes to technological solutions to reduce water consumption. But more work is needed, particularly when it comes to commercial facilities.
“Because a great deal of the water used in commercial facilities is used for landscaping, that’s the first place to start,” said Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and founder of Waterless CO., Inc.,
Recommendations to reduce water consumption for landscaping include:
- Cataloguing all vegetation growing around the building and determine which plants/vegetation can be replaced with native plants that use less water.
- Analyzing the land layout. Higher areas need more water than lower areas due to water runoff.
- Switching to recycled water. Treated wastewater can be used at such places as golf courses and cemeteries, which can use a huge amount of water.
- Irrigating only at night.
- Installing water sensors to determine if irrigation is even needed and several water meters to monitor how much water is being used throughout the property.
However, Reichardt noted that if a facility is not landscaped then the focus should be placed on washrooms, where the most water is generally consumed.
Among the steps he suggests building owners and managers take are:
- Installing aerators in all faucet
- Identifying and fixing leaks.
- Installing new urinals that consume less water per flush or transfer to waterless urinals that use no water, and are less costly to install and maintain.
- Selecting toilets powered by “velocity.”
“Newer toilets use compressed air – velocity – to flush waste,” concluded Reichardt. “This technology is very efficient and reduces water consumption dramatically.”