Five quick wins in water conservation

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By Carolyn Wincer, 1st March 2021

In this article Travelife for Accommodation shares tips and advice about how to easily improve water conservation at your business.

World Water Day is 22nd March and an excellent time to think about how your business can improve impacts on water conservation. The accommodation sector is a major consumer of water so over the years Travelife have learned how easy it is to achieve quick improvements in the amount of water a business consumes, resulting in lower operating costs, and how to reduce pollution in wastewater. Here are our top tips that should be quick and easy to implement in any office or retail outlet.

Regularly refresh your signage

Signs reminding your staff, contractors and customers to save water at your place of business are incredibly effective. But over time staff in particular will stop noticing them. You can alleviate this by refreshing your water saving notices a few times each year, such as changing the design or position of the sign. We recommend whoever is responsible for this at your premises sets up a regular calendar reminder. This is a simple low-cost solution that will reap savings.

Schedule short, simple training

Most people are happy to do simple things to save water, such as turning off taps when soaping their hands, but we find people need regular refreshers. We recommend you schedule a couple of very short training sessions each year to remind staff. This only needs to take 5 minutes so can be easily scheduled into another regular meeting. You should cover things like remembering to use the low flush option in bathrooms, turning off water when soaping hands and not leaving a turned-on tap unattended.

Review your cleaning products

When most of us think about water conservation we focus on reducing the amount of water consumed yet preventing pollution of water supplies by focusing on our wastewater is also important. That means reducing the amount of chemicals we use that might harm the quality of water supplies and biodiversity. We suggest an annual review of the cleaning products you or your contractors use that end up in wastewater so that you can look for alternatives that prevent pollution and protect biodiversity.

Install (or check) flow restrictors

A huge amount of water is wasted globally each year because of unnecessary water pressure/flow. This can be alleviated by some very simple and low-cost solutions that restrict the flow of water in showers, taps and toilets. Whilst the hotels we work with often have to install hundreds or even thousands of flow restriction techniques in all of their hotel rooms, for most offices and retail outlets this an easy straightforward solution that can reap instant benefits on water consumption and water costs. Speak to the people who are in charge of maintenance in your office and ask them to suggest some solutions. If you already have these systems in place, keep in mind that they can decay over a period of years, so World Water Day is a great excuse to have your maintenance team check that they are still working properly.

Regularly check for leaks

It is common for Travelife auditors to find leaks at hotels that staff were unaware of, often costing thousands each year in unnecessary water bills.  We strongly recommend that you ask maintenance staff/contractors to carry out a regular check for leaks and your cleaners to keep an eye on toilets and taps.  Keeping records of your monthly water use is a great way to track your environmental improvements but also makes it easy for you to spot unusual spikes in consumption that could indicate a problem.  

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