Know the Ratings & Value of New Technologies
Don't rely on suppliers to tell you the facts. Do some upfront research and look for water- and energy-use ratings. Often, the most energy-efficient models are also low-water users.
Many older technologies - coolers to photographic equipment -- operate on a once-through, continuous flow principle. Water passes through the appliance down the drain. By inspecting all your equipment you can identify where these systems exist and plan to replace them with new high-efficiency technologies that re-circulate water. (Some older appliances can be retrofitted with re-circulating pumps to increase efficiency.)
Savings can also be achieved by upgrading bathroom fixtures, and heating and cooling systems.
Make Good Choices
Choosing the right equipment for your business can be a big decision. Coolers to chillers to ice machines all use water! Many appliances, such as washing machines, vary substantially in water efficiency.
Machines that are programmable to suit the size and degree of soiling of each load.
Frontloading washing machines (top-loaders consume twice the water).
Tunnel washers if your business regularly washes heavy laundry.
Large commercial operations could also consider water recovery and recycling systems, which reduce water use by up to 80 percent.
Make water use a criterion when purchasing kitchen equipment.
Dishwashing can account for more than two-thirds of a restaurant's water use. Replace older, low-pressure spray nozzles with efficient high-pressure nozzles. Even small restaurants can save up to 50,000 gallons a year by making this switch.
Aerators fit to faucets can reduce flow rates more than one gallon per minute. For high performance, aerators mix the water with air. (When bought in bulk, aerators can cost only a few dollars each.)
Many commercial sites have chillers and icemakers that use a lot of water. Look for water-saving models. For example, flake icemakers are more efficient than cube makers.
Commercial car washes
Learning how to conserve can offer quick return on investment.
Recycle and reuse waste water to reduce water use by up to 80 percent.
Fit washing equipment with automatic shut-off valves.
Consider upgrading to more efficient spray and brush equipment --three gallons per minute for each piece of equipment is a good target.
Medical facilities and laboratories
Consider upgrading older x-ray machines and photo-development technologies to modern digital devices that use no water. (Older equipment can use large quantities of water. If you have these devices, install water saver kits on the cooling water loops to reduce waste.)
Replace wet pumps with dry vacuum pumps when possible.
Install water-efficient sterilizers.