In your business / At work

Water Savings Make Good Business Sense

There are many opportunities to take positive actions to reduce water use.  Even small daily water savings add up to significant savings in the long term and help reduce the demand on our drinking water resources.

Following Heath Regulations

For most facilities, especially health care and recreational facilities, there are a number of health regulations you must follow that are related to water use.  Whenever reducing water use in any operation, be sure to check and make sure that the change will meet any applicable human health and safety regulations.

Frequent Use and High Volumes

Two major areas of water use for many commercial operations are found in the food services areas and washrooms.  Toilets and sinks get steady use and are often the largest users of both water and energy.  Follow the tips below to help you be water-efficient regardless of the type of organization you have.

Toilets

  • Replace your toilets with a low flow model.  The water savings are significant.  Your existing toilet may be using as much as 26 litres per flush; whereas, new low flow models only use 6 litres per flush.
  • If you have tankless, flushometer type toilets, install a simple device known as a diaphragm to reduce water use by approximately 20% per flush
  • Check all toilets for leaks.  A leak cannot be heard until it is losing about 300 litres of water a day.  Use the leak detection tablets available in the water conservation kits to check if your toilets are leaking. 

Washrooms

  • Water efficient fixtures, leak detection and repair, and other proactive water loss prevention in these areas offer significant savings. 
  • Standard bathroom aerators can reduce use by as much as 45%.
  • Inefficient showerheads can use over 22 litres per minute of water, but new low flow models use less than 8 litres per minute.  New low flow showerheads offer the same performance as the older models and can save in water and heating costs.
  • Aerators and a low flow showerhead are available in the water conservation kit offered by the City.

General Maintenance and Savings Tips

  • Check all water pipes for leaks and repair immediately.  A hole in a pipe measuring one millimetre wastes over 36,000 litres of water each month.
  • Water used for general cleaning adds up to about 10% of all water used in large public access facilities.  Ensure all staff involved in clean-up are aware of the need to be efficient in water use.
  • Change from wet to dry carpet cleaning methods.
  • If you have water-cooled ice machines, replace them with air-cooled models.  Adjust your machine to waste as little ice as possible.
  • Read all meters monthly to help detect leaks.  If you have implemented water saving efforts, the meter will help you measure the results.  Share your results (both positive and negative) with tenants, guests, visitors and staff by creating signage or articles.

Small Load Laundry Areas

  • Some commercial operations do small amounts of laundry on site.  If you are about to purchase a new machine, look for the front-loading model that is water and energy efficient.  The savings in water and energy really add up quickly.
  • If you are not planning to buy a new machine, use your existing machine efficiently by running only full loads.  Adjust your water level to match the load.

Kitchens / Food and Beverage Services

  • Reduce water waste by thawing frozen foods in the refrigerator rather than under a running tap.
  • Reuse steam table water to wash up in the cook’s area.
  • Recycle water from final rinse of dishes to use in pre-soak or first rinse if possible.
  • Recycle excess cold water from table or buffet pitchers – use it to water plants.
  • Reduce the flow to dipper wells where ice cream or butter scoops and other utensils are rinsed.
  • Replace high-flow faucets with low volume nozzles.  Aerators are available in our water conservation kits.
  • Be sure that dish and glass washers only run fully loaded.
  • Don’t let taps run continuously when rinsing vegetables or soaking dishes – a foot trigger can help reduce waste.
  • Educate staff about water efficiency.  They need some motivation to take positive action.
  • Use signs or stickers to tell your food services staff and customers or users that you are working to reduce water waste.  Explain that this is environmentally beneficial and a wise use of resources.
  • Ask patrons if they want a glass of water rather than serving one automatically.

Outdoors

Follow the Watering Restrictions in effect.  If you use water to irrigate a landscaped area, these tips will help you reduce water waste outdoors.  Also look at the “In the Yard” guide in this section.

  • Use drip or micro-irrigation to water trees and shrubs
  • For automatically timed sprinklers, alter the settings to operate only as needed and to follow the watering restrictions in effect.