In the desert, water is scarce, and water and sewer charges can really add up. The City of Phoenix has partnered with numerous water conservation associations to stay in the know and help its customers conserve water and save money.
Upgrading to low-water appliances and equipment will eventually have the equipment paying for itself. But the quickest and most immediate return is changing employee and customer behavior. Communicate your conservation message to your customers and suppliers, and be proud of the change your business can have on the Arizona ecology.
Water conservation doesn’t just save your business money. The City of Phoenix’s website lists four more reasons to participate in water conservation:
- Reduced wastewater costs and less spending on water treatment chemicals
- Energy savings from using less energy to heat, pump and treat water
- Environmental benefits
- Positive publicity resulting from your conservation efforts
The City of Phoenix provides these tips to help your business reap the benefits of water conservation as listed above:
- Make water efficiency a factor when choosing new equipment. Take into account the cost savings that can accrue over the lifetime of a unit. Look for industry-specific opportunities to save water.
- Use waterless technologies where available. This could range from switching to waterless urinals in men’s rooms to using waterless woks in your kitchen to replacing old photo-development or x-ray equipment with modern digital technologies.
- Eliminate all technology operating with “once-through” (continuous water flow) systems such as once-through cooling.
- Reuse and recycle water wherever possible; wastewater from some indoor sources can be used outdoors for irrigation.
- Install automatic devices to turn water off when equipment is not in use.
- Restrict water pressure and flow rates where possible (install pressure-restricting valves, add aerators to existing faucets).
- Consider installing sub-meters on major water-using units to track water use.
Water Conservation Outdoors: Knowing How and Where to Look for Leaks
If your business has a separate outdoor water meter you can check for leaks by shutting off outdoor water use and monitoring the meter. This is called sub-metering, and sub-meters (point-of-use meters) can be used for indoor fixtures, pools, sprinkler systems and large heating or cooling equipment.
However, if you feel that the leak maybe underground, a leak detection specialist will use echo correlation to find the source of the leak.
Water Conservation Landscaping
Growing plants that are accustom to an arid climate will aid in water conservation and save money on high water bills.
The City of Phoenix has four tips to conserve water when landscaping for your business:
- Harvesting Rainwater is a practical (and free) form of irrigating both large and small landscapes. This is done by using the right type of plants and creating a simple system of berms (mounds) and swales (ditches). If done right, this system can reduce or even eliminated the need of using metered, potable water.
- Another way to harvest rainwater is collecting and storing roof water runoff. Contact an expert to ensure you are safely storing the water and not creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can be hazardous.
- Hydrozoning is simple; you will save water by planting the hardiest, most heat-tolerant plants right next to walkways, which are generally hotter, and by grouping plants that have similar water requirements together to reduce superfluous watering.
- Nearly every business in Arizona has an irrigation system, and the best way to conserve water is to keep the irrigation system well maintained. The City of Phoenix recommends getting regular inspections of sprinklers and irrigation systems to spot leaks or misaligned heads.
Water Conservation Remodeling
When it comes to saving money and conserving water on the inside of your business, water smart remodeling is the way to go. When deciding on interior upgrades, the City of Phoenix recommends tankless water heaters, pressure reducers, aerators, and high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to reduce water use.
- Tankless water heaters: When replacing water heaters, a “tankless” heater that heats water instantly can reduce use from hot water taps by up to 20 percent.
- Pressure reducers: Adding or retrofitting existing technologies with pressure regulators that keep pressure to all fixtures below 70 psi can reduce water use and offer quick return on investment.
- Aerators: For only a few dollars, retrofitting faucets with aerators increases water-efficiency instantly.
- Install high-efficiency fixtures and appliances: Water-efficient fixtures and appliances include low-flow shower heads, faucets, toilets and urinals. High-performance dishwashers, clothes washers and a wide range of industry-specific technologies are also available for your business.