As we’re becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact we’ve had on the environment, we’re learning to take responsibility for our wasteful practices and strive to find strategies for a more sustainable future. When it comes to business, going green is not just a new marketing slogan, it’s a different way of doing things. Going green not only improves your brand’s image and reputation in front of both customers and employees, but it also increases your bottom line by helping you save on operational costs.
Maybe at home, you’ve changed all your light bulbs and appliances, installed low-flow showerheads and an electrical thermostat, you’ve switched your diet local organic products, and you recycle almost everything. Good job!
But how do we bring sustainability into the business setting where you no longer have complete control, there are investors, staff, and customers, and most are less than enthusiastic about making operational changes? You can start with improving water efficiency as this might just be the path of least resistance. We’ll explain why.
How Is Water Used in a Commercial Building?
Water consumption in an office setting depends on the type of plumbing you have, the equipment you’re using, and the facilities your office space has. If you use a hydronic cooling system, for example, you can expect to have a higher water consumption rate. Likewise, if your office has a kitchen and cafeteria, you’ll be using more water than an office that doesn’t.
But don’t worry, this isn’t where you need to cut back. Although these systems do use their share of water, the majority is used up by restroom plumbing fixtures. You can make a few changes that will have a significant impact on your water consumption and utility bills, but that won’t negatively affect your employees or customers. It’s highly unlikely they’ll even notice any changes have been made.
Increase Water Efficiency in Office Restrooms
Before looking for products that reduce water consumption, such as environmentally sustainable flush valves, you need to make sure your plumbing is well maintained and in good working order. A few small leaks or drips may not seem like a big concern, but they can amount to tens of thousands of gallons of wastewater over just one year. One single faucet that leaks one drop every second waste over 3,000 gallons in a year. Reading this makes you want to get up and check for leaks, doesn’t it? Well, you certainly should!
Leaky faucets are usually pretty easy to spot, but you should know that a faucet can leak from multiple places. This means you should have a plumber check the supply lines, handles, angle stop, and spout. Once a leak has been identified, you may need to replace the faulty parts or the entire faucet. In that case, you can opt for more modern, water-efficient versions.
Toilet flappers are another common source of leaks. You can check if the flapper seals properly by putting a drop of food coloring in the toilet bowl. If the color becomes diluted after 15 minutes without flushing, it means you have a leak.
Buildings with higher water pressure usually have flush valves as they have much better recovery time and allows for the facilities to be used frequently, which is necessary when you have high traffic.