Save water! Save water! Save water! That’s the clarion call heard around Los Angeles these day. But, if you are a business owner trying to get a staff on board with water and other money saving policies, you need a strategy for implementation and follow-up.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power suggests a not-challenging, 10-step approach to implementing a Water Conservation Program for your business. The LADWP notes that these basic guidelines are a foundation to a successful water conservation effort.
For any program to be successful, the desire to conserve water must be present from the highest level of management through the rest of the staff. Upper management needs to support the effort to minimize excess water usage.
2. Appoint a Conservation Manager
Companies with an individual in charge of their conservation program have far better results than companies which never assign such a responsibility to someone. For best results, place someone in charge and make it part of their regular duties.
3. Know your water use
Before implementing any kind of conservation program, know where your water is being used. It is also important to know how much water is being used for each of your firm’s industrial processes and/or domestic needs.
4. Check your system for leaks
Learn to read your water meter. Leaks can be detected by having a periodic shutdown of all water-using facilities and reading the water meter at intervals of the shutdown. This can be done outside of the work day, so as not interrupt business. During the shutdown, if any movement of the meter dials occur, water is leaking. If a leak is detected, locate and repair it.
5. Set a conservation goal
Be optimistic, but be realistic. Conservation goals should be lofty enough to require substantial effort, and build in milestones so you can achieve success along the way. The milestones will serve as progress reference points, highlighting the effectiveness of your water conservation program.
Look for common conservation opportunities in restrooms, kitchens, laundries and water-using processes. Encourage suggestions from employees to reduce your water consumption.
7. Involve your employees
Teach water awareness. Many companies have posted signs throughout their facilities which help to create an awareness of water conservation among the employees. Creating competition among employees (for instance, establishing which work shift can use the least amount of water) is another idea. Once employees start thinking about their water use, water consumption usually decreases.
Replace non-water saving toilets and urinals with high efficiency models (LADWP offers rebates for such replacements). If you already have these types of toilets, make sure they are adjusted to use the minimum amount of water required per flush. All showering facilities should be equipped with water-saving showerheads. Showerheads equipped with on-off valves provide the opportunity to conserve more water than those without valves. Install low-flow aerators on all faucet fixtures.
9. Update with water efficient equipment
As you replace the equipment in your plant, be aware of how much water the new equipment will use. Equipment manufacturers have become more aware of the need for water conservation and often offer equipment that uses less water. Explore all of your options. You may find that you have a choice in your equipment purchases and water conservation should be a determining factor in the selection process.
10. Monitor your results
Each water bill includes your consumption history. It is possible for you to follow this history and get an immediate idea as to how well you are doing compared to any one of the past 14 billing periods. Use charts, graphs, and other records to keep track of your conservation progress and share it with employees.