There are many opportunities to reduce the water used in businesses across Australia.
Advice on how to save water in the workplace
There are many ways a business can conserve water, whether it's on the production line, in the office or perhaps the kitchen and bathrooms of your workplace.
Water is worth conserving, not only because it is essential for our health and wellbeing and that of our environment, but also because as individuals and businesses, we must pay for the water we use.
Top three tips
A running tap uses about 16 litres of water per minute. A dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres a year. That’s a lot of water, so if your tap is dripping in your kitchen or bathroom at work report it to the person responsible.
A continuously running toilet can waste up to 60,000 litres of water per year, yet toilet leaks often go unnoticed as the water trickles down the back of the bowl.
If you want to check your toilets for leaks, follow these simple steps:
- Remove the lid of your toilet cistern.
- Place a few drops of food dye into the cistern.
- Do not flush your toilet for 10-15 minutes.
- If the dye has seeped down into the bowl when you return, then you know you have a leak.
Choose tap water over bottled water to reduce waste and save water used in the manufacturing process.
Making water conservation a part of your business
Adopting water efficient practices in your business can save water and money but it can also make employees and clients proud to be affiliated with your organisation.
Companies interested in adopting a water conservation program should consider undertaking a five-step process. Implementation of this strategy will help your company to identify the most cost effective options for water reduction and financial savings. While the best results will be achieved by implementing all five actions, they can also be adopted individually.
1 Appoint a water conservation team
Your water conservation team should include people interested in championing the water conservation program, and those that have a detailed understanding of the ways that water is used across the site.
2 Investigate how water is being used around the site
The first task of the water conservation team is to gather historical and current water use data from your water supplier. At least a year of water bills should be collected, as at some sites water use patterns may change seasonally. Your team should now:
- Identify the key areas or processes in which water is used
- Identify the water quality requirements of each area of the site
- Identify volumes of water being consumed and discharged
- Identify the location of existing metres, or where they are required
3 Monitor water meters
There are three general types of water meters that can be used in industry.
Mains meter - This is the meter already installed at the key supply point of the site.
Sub meters - These meters are installed at key points around the plant, where water is used
Flow meters and temporary devices - The efficiency of plant can also be checked using a temporary device. This may be a cheaper way to identify leaks than permanent sub meters.
4 Establish goals for water conservation
Setting water conservation goals will enable you to measure and report on the success of your water saving initiatives. They can also be useful in gaining the necessary internal support and commitment to your water conservation program.
5 Develop and implement water saving initiatives
Water saving initiatives can be identified through brainstorming sessions with the water conservation team, which could involve external expertise where necessary.