Water Conservation for Commercial and Industrial Facilities
Water conservation not only helps you save money on your facility operations, but also improves the health and livability of our neighborhoods.
Here are the most effective ways for commercial and industrial organizations to save water:
- Leak Detection: An on-site survey and inspection of your property can measure fixture flow rates at faucets, toilets and shower heads to help determine any plumbing issues.
- Water Consumption Analysis: Understanding your water use is one of the best ways to identify savings opportunities. This should be the first step in a site-specific water efficiency program. It may be cost-beneficial to hire a professional with expertise in industrial water use efficiency to carry out an on-site survey.
You may be able save 30% or more of your property’s water/sewer costs by installing low-flow equipment for domestic water uses. Retrofitting options include flapperless and high efficiency toilets, low flow shower heads, and bathroom/kitchen aerators.
- Use reclaimed water: Potable water is often not required for many industrial uses and can be substituted with non-potable or reclaimed water. AlexRenew has a reclaimed water system that can provide non-potable water for commercial and industrial uses.
- WaterSense Fixtures: This EPA program helps you save water by labeling and recommending products that have been independently certified to perform well and help save water, energy and money. Click here to search for WaterSense products.
Cross connections/backflow prevention: To prevent the reverse flow of non-potable into the public water system or your drinking water, ensure that a proper backflow preventer is installed and maintained. This includes the water service connection to each dedicated fire protection or irrigation system, to any reclaimed water systems, and to industrial, medical, laboratory, marine or other facilities where public water contamination might occur. Click here for a primer on setting up an effective cross connection control system (PDF).
Cooling towers often represent the largest percentage of water consumption in industrial operations. One way to improve their efficiency and reduce water use is to eliminate once-through cooling. You may also want to install overflow alarms or submeters to monitor make-up and bleed on each cooling tower.
Additional useful resources and reports:
- Water conservation retrofit from American Water
- WaterSense efficient products
- The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value (PDF)
- Water efficiency and self-conducted water audits at commercial and institutional facilities: A guide for facility managers (PDF)