In the past, people tended to think of water as free. Now it’s being seen as the valuable resource it is. Your office likely uses more water than you realize, and this could be affecting your bottom line.
Here are a few tips to reduce your workplace’s water use:
Get A Water Audit
Your utility company should offer this service for free. The auditor will take a look at the water you use and give you advice on how to be more efficient.
Audit Landscaping Sprinklers
Set them to run in the early morning or late evening, as this reduces evaporation. If half of the water from your sprinklers is landing on the sidewalk, you may want to move them.
Audit your irrigation. Are you using sprinklers when a drip irrigation system would be better? Are you irrigating plants that don’t really need it? Can you set up a smart system that keeps the sprinkler system from running if it’s rained a certain amount that day or night?
If you have a fountain, set it on a timer to turn it off after work hours. When planting, choose plants that are native to the area or one with a similar climate.
Check Water Meter
Have the last person to leave check the water meter, then have the first person to arrive do the same thing. Are you “using” water when nobody’s in the building? If so, you have a leak somewhere, and even a small leak can waste a lot of water.
Check All Your Faucets
Make sure they don’t leak and consider replacing them with faucets with a flow restrictor. Discourage employees from washing up under running taps (dishwashers actually use less water than washing by hand, providing you only run them when full). Make sure people do not leave taps running and discipline if necessary.
Low-flush toilets use less than half the water of standard toilets while waterless urinals are even more valuable – they can save over 90% of your water usage and are actually more hygienic. They work by using a special trap that absorbs odor and bacteria.
Educate Your Employees
You can buy posters that remind people to save water and hang them in the kitchen, if you have one, or the staff room. You can also share tips at meetings and in the employee newsletter.
Replace Water Wasters
When you replace appliances that use water, choose makes and models that use even less of it. This includes air conditioning units (which can use a lot of water).
If you have company vehicles, choose washing facilities that recycle water and only wash vehicles when they are dirty, rather than on a fixed schedule.