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Business Water Strategies

Small Business Trends recently published an online article that we felt was worthy of being revisited by our readers, particularly those of you who own your own business or are in a decision-making capacity where you work. This article is titled “5 Strategies for Saving Water at Your Business”.

As a business owner or manager, you have many responsibilities and concerns in a day, but how much water is flushed down your drain is probably not something you waste much thought on. Environmental scientists, however, expect worldwide fresh water shortages to be one of the most pressing environmental concerns within the next 50 years. More immediately, many communities are hitting residents and local businesses with higher water and utility rates. What does that mean to you? Hopefully, it means that you do start being concerned about the amount of water that is used in your company.

Every company uses water differently and in different quantities. The most important thing you can do is figure out where your water is going, and then tackle the issue! The five strategies identified in the article are:

  1. Go low-flow in your toilets and faucets. A low-flow faucet aerator emits about 0.7 gallons less per minute than a standard faucet and a low-flow toilet uses less than half of the water to flush as compared to an older toilet.
  2. Get a water audit. A commercial water audit examines how much water a business uses and provides strategies for conservation and cost savings. These audits can also identify water leaks that can be repaired. In some communities, the utility company provides these audits for free.
  3. Reduce landscape watering. Consider planting native landscapes or using mulch or stone instead of grass. You may also find rain-harvesting sufficient.
  4. Engage and inform employees. Every employee plays a role in how much water your business uses. Remind employees to be conscientious of water use and ask for their ideas on how to conserve water.
  5. Purchase water-efficient equipment. Most types of equipment in use today are available in water-efficient models, or have less-water-intensive alternatives. While these alternative products may have somewhat higher upfront costs, they can often pay for themselves quickly through water and water-heating savings.

The most important tool in your attempts at water conservation? Knowledge. Do you know where your water is going? Do you know how many gallons you use each day? Do you know where the waste is? For example, many people would never consider that their drinking water systems could be wasting water. If you have a reverse osmosis system, it has the potential to waste 90% of the water it comes across. Or, if you have a water cooler, do you know how many gallons are used to create the bottles and clean them for reuse? So, do your homework and keep an eye on your water consumption.