Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to save money on water conservation

These tips can help accommodation services to understand and reduce their water needs. It is full of suggestions for water efficiencies and will result in cheaper water bills for hotels, along with guest satisfaction in knowing that their accommodation of choice is responsive to the nation’s water shortage. It Highlighting that your hotel is water-efficient and demonstrates you are acting responsibly for the environment, which also boosts the image of your hotel.

INSTALL
  • Install reduced flow shower heads. Some come with filters that filter out chlorine.
  • Repair leaky taps and toilets. Implement a preventive maintenance program to catch leaks.
  • Install waterless urinals.
  • Install dual flush toilets. These can use less than one gallon per flush compared to standard 1.5-gallon models.
  • Install low-flow faucet aerators in kitchen and bathroom sinks. In most cases, aerators can be installed without having to replace the entire faucet.

TECHNOLOGY
  • In public areas of the hotel, use faucets that incorporate motion sensing or infrared on/off technology.
  • Purchase water-efficient dishwashers.
  • Investigate high-tech sprinkler controllers that know when not to water.
  • Consider drip irrigation systems as they are much more efficient than sprinklers.
  • Consider closed-loop or reclamation systems that recycle water. Some laundry systems offer this capability.
  • Incorporate separate water meters throughout the property.
  • Retrofit flushometer (tank-less) toilets with water-saving diaphragms, which save one gallon (20 percent) per flush.
  • Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up.

TOILETS
  • Modify cistern flush volumes by modifying the ball valve or float in the cistern. 
  • Replace inefficient toilets with at least 4.5/3 litre dual flush systems. 
  • Regularly maintain and replace valves and ballcocks to ensure cisterns do not leak and water is not wasted. 
  • Reduce water flow rate by adjusting flow valves or installing flow control regulators where appropriate. 
  • Where possible, fit aerators on taps to increase air flow in the water stream, while providing equivalent water pressure without increasing the flow rate.
  • Periodically install/replace restrictors where required. 
  • Periodically check taps for leaks.
  • Install low controls on showers, such as new heads, ‘between flexible hose and supply line’ flow regulators and/or ‘in cold/hot supply line before outlet’ flow regulators. 
  • Replace shower heads with water efficient models such three-star rated shower heads that use 7.5 L/m. 
  • Ensure jets of spa baths are located low in the baths so they can be operated effectively with minimal water. Install signage for guests asking that consider less use of the spa in this time of drought.

URINALS IN PUBLIC AMENITIES
  • Modify urinal flushes by adjusting the fill level within the cistern and effectively reducing the cistern volume. 
  • Modify urinal flushes by adjusting the solenoid valve operation as appropriate. 
  • Where appropriate, the flushing regime will be modified by adjusting the movement sensor to increase the time interval between flushes as well as optimising the volume per flush while maintaining adequate amenity value (no offensive odours).
  • If replacing urinals:
    •  install waterless urinals. More information on waterless urinals is available in City West Water’s Water Conservation Solutions Handbook; 
    • replace existing units with water-efficient models with at least a three-star efficiency rating; 
    • replace cyclic flushing cisterns with sensor-operated flushing units.
  • Periodically inspect motion sensors and adjust them so they function well and are water efficient. 

KITCHEN, RESTAURANTS AND BARS 
  • Do not use running water to defrost food. Plan ahead and defrost frozen goods in the refrigerator.
  • Do not let the tap run while cleaning vegetables. Rinse them in a plugged sink.
  • Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.
  • Pre-rinse nozzles in the kitchen can save tens of thousands of gallons of water per year.
  • Clean floors with brooms and mops, not by hosing down.
  • Reduce water flow rate by adjusting flow valves or installing flow control regulators to kitchen taps to ensure an appropriate flow rate and where possible, fit aerators to existing taps to increase air flow in the water stream while maintaining equivalent water pressure without increasing flow rate. 
  • Install pedal-operated tap controllers to ensure valves are closed when not in use. 
  • Install sensor-activated taps so water flow is triggered only when needed to 
  • eliminate wasting water and to improve hygiene practices. 
  • Use pre-rinse sprayers designed with automatic shut-off valves to supply water only when needed. Install low-flow, high-pressure spray heads or a flow reduction valve. 
  • Advise staff to hand scrape dishes and utensils before loading into dishwashers rather than rinsing them with water. Alternatively, pre-soak utensils and other items before loading into dishwashers. 
  • Only operate rack machines when they are full. 
  • Investigate recycling rinse water from dishwashers or reusing it to operate the garbage disposer. 
  • Install an auto-timer or electronic sensor to allow water flow only when dishes are present or running through the system. 
  • Investigate alternatives to a mechanical garbage disposal system, such as composting and food donation, or consider using a commercial food waste collector. 
  • If replacing your garbage disposal system, use strainers or traps that employ a mesh screen to collect food waste for later disposal.
  • Modify the settings of your ice machine so it dispenses only the required amount of ice. 
  • Consider using an air-cooled machine instead of a water-cooled machine. 
  • Investigate a closed circuit cooling system, a more efficient process for air-conditioning. 
  • Check seals on your ice machine regularly. 
  • In Asian-style kitchens, replace existing water woks with waterless woks that are air-cooled rather than water-cooled. 
  • When using water woks, ensure valves are switched off when stoves are not in use.

OUTDOORS
  • Collect rainwater and use it for lawn and landscaping irrigation.
  • Water grass and plants only when needed.
  • Water early in the morning or late in the afternoon when evaporation is minimal.
  • Water the roots of plants, not the leaves. Place mulch around plants to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean outdoor paths and paved areas.
  • Reduce your lawn area by using native shrubs and plants. They require less water.
  • Plant drought-tolerant plants.
  • Switch off automatic sprinkling systems during rainy periods. 
  • Mulching can prevent up to 70 percent of evaporative loss.
  • Water only when wind is less than 16 kilometres an hour.

POOL
  • Cover your pool to reduce evaporation. Pool covering also helps to keep the pool clean and will reduce heating bills. 
  • Drain pool only when necessary.
  • Install drainage barriers around pools to collect overflows or splashes and reuse for pool make-up water. 
  • Pool or beach showers should be controlled with a pull chain.
  • Reduce losses from splashing by lowering the level of pool water. The recommended water level is one inch above the bottom of the top tile. 
  • Assess the filter back-wash schedule. Where possible, reduce back-washing to a minimum without compromising public health and safety standards. 
  • Divert filtered backwash onto lawns and shrubs or collect for reuse. 
  • Install a check-meter on supply lines of pools and water features. These should be regularly read and recorded to identify leaks or excess use. 
  • Repair swimming pool or spa leaks.

GENERAL TIPS
  • Serve water in the restaurant by request only.
  • Reduce water flow rates
  • In meeting rooms, serve water in pitchers but do not pre-pour water in glasses.
  • Set urinals with programmable automatic flush valves to a water-saving mode that flushes the urinal after more than one use.
  • Water-softening systems can reduce the amount of scale build-up in pipes and ultimately help reduce water consumption as well.
  • Insulate your water pipes.
  • Check all drain stoppers in bathtubs and sinks regularly to ensure proper function and seal.
  • Clean all aerators and showerheads regularly to ensure optimal water flow.
  • Make sure spout diverters in the bathtub are in working order.
  • Implement an ozone laundry system that requires less water to wash linens and towels.
  • Implement a procedure for staff to report problems involving water waste.
  • Implement a linen and towel reuse program.
  • Place signage at the back of the house to encourage water conservation.
  • Replace potable water with another water source. Potential alternative water supplies can include re-use of stormwater, rainwater harvesting or re-use of water for toilet flushing, cleaning or laundry processes. It is important to assess the quality and quantity of water required before using alternative water sources, as this will determine its potential uses and treatment required. 



BE PROACTIVE
  • Implement an awareness program to inform staff and guests about your water savings targets and explain what they can do to help save water.
  • Set targets for water consumption.
  • Establish a monthly monitoring program. Monotoring should begin before water audits are conducted to allow you to contrast past consumption with present consumption. 
  • Evaluate the achievements of the program you implement, and address areas where expected water savings have not been achieved. 
  • Create prompts to encourage behaviour change. 
  • Educate guests.
  • Participate in programs such at the EPA’s WaterSense initiative and your city's waterwise programs.

sources: 
  1. green lodging news
  2. save water 
  3. City of Melbourne, Total Watermark 2004, 2004. 
  4. Sydney Water Corporation’s, Every Drop Counts program, Best Practice Guidelines for Hotels, 2001. 
  5. Brisbane Water, Watersense program, Best Practice Guidelines for Hotels Fact Sheet, 2006 
  6. The Office of Energy and Efficiency Natural Resource, Canada (NRCAN). Saving Energy dollars in Hotels, Motels and Restaurants, 2003. 
  7. City West Water, Water Conservation Solutions Handbook, 2006 
  8. Accor Group Sustainable Development Department, Accor Hotels Environment Charter Practical Guide, March 2006. 
  9. Doug McKenzie-Mohr and William Smith, Fostering Sustainable Behaviour, New Society Publishers, 1999. 
  10. Sydney Water Corporation, Every Drop Counts program, Best Practice Guidelines for Cooling Towers, 2001.

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