In terms of water use, best practice is using water as effectively and efficiently as possible. The main ways to do so are to reduce wasteful consumption and to source second class water through rainwater or recycled water.
An amount of water is needed to get the job done. Very often, however, an excessive amount is used. An example of this is the use of a 12 lt cistern to flush toilets when as little as 6.5 lt will do the job.
The project is establishing standard flow rates for showers, taps and flushing volumes. Together with explanations on how to identify the flow rates and flushing volumes of premises, the project is also developing a set of solutions which will allow standard flow rates to be reached.
Using rainwater & recycled water
Water demand can be divided into two – first and second class water.
First class water is potable water, and must be used wherever water comes into contact with people such as in showers, wash hand basins, and naturally all drinking water applications.
Second class water is of a lower quality and can be used to flush toilets, water gardens, in washing machines, for washing external surfaces, etc.
Where the possibility to harvest and store rainwater exists, this opportunity should be exploited. Rainwater can be used in flushings, for landscaping, in pools, for washing floors or in washing machines.
It is also possible for many enterprises to recycle water and thus create a supply of second class water for use in toilet flushings. In hotels a good source of water could be ‘grey-water’ – water from showers, baths and wash-hand basins. Different industries could use different types of process water for the same purpose, as long as the process water meets the legal requirements for waste water discharged to sewers.
Business benefits of water conservation best practice
The most obvious benefit is a reduction in utility bills – a much appreciated and tangible aspect to water conservation. Other benefits include the contribution of water conservation to eco-certification schemes, and a positive image amongst providers and customers – potentially important amongst today’s environmentally conscience audiences and customers.
Conserving water is also an excellent way for caring businesses to be environmentally responsible.