Institute an employee water conservation awareness and education program
Brief Description of above Top Ten Ways Businesses Can Save Water
Complete AWU’s 3C Business Challenge – This simple, desk-top self-audit helps you identify water savings and rebate opportunities. Submit the form and self-assessment to Austin Water and staff will help you formulate a plan to reduce water use and save on your water bills.
Detect and fix any leaks – The easiest and cheapest way to save water and money is to periodically check and fix leaks from pipes, fixtures, appliances, and equipment.
Install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances – Depending upon your type business, these may include, but not be limited to, toilets, urinals, pre-rinse spray valves, clothes washers, dishwashers, kitchen and bathroom aerators, and showerheads. Some Austin Water rebates and free fixture distribution programs may apply.
Make sure your water line pressure is not above 65 psi – Pressure above 65 psi in your water line may result in less efficient indoor plumbing fixtures or outdoor irrigation systems - and the waste of water. Install a pressure reduction valve to lower water pressure and keep water efficiency high.
Perform periodic irrigation system evaluations and install a separate irrigation meter - Automatic irrigation systems need to be maintained and regularly checked to ensure they are on the proper settings so that only the amount of water plants and lawns need is provided. This includes checking to make sure the controllers and timers are set to be consistent with the applicable watering restrictions. A separate meter for irrigation use will also help better measure irrigation use and identify leaks and other water saving opportunities. In addition, credit on your wastewater bill may be provided for sub-metered irrigation water use for water not returned to the City of Austin’s wastewater system.
Install “hardscape” or native and drought tolerant plants - Replace water-thirsty turf with Bermuda or Buffalo grasses, which are more likely to survive future droughts, or with permeable hardscapes, rock gardens, mulching, or non-irrigated beds.
Install water saving equipment to cooling towers – Significant water savings can be achieved by reducing the amount of water used for cooling towers. This includes measures and equipment that maximize cycles of concentration for cooling towers to five or more cycles. In addition, Austin Water retail customers may obtain an adjustment in the calculation of the customer’s monthly wastewater billing for the amount of evaporated water not returned to the City of Austin’s wastewater system.
Install a rainwater and/or air conditioning condensate collection system – A “blended” rainwater and AC condensate collection system can be conjunctively used to meet indoor and outdoor non-potable water needs year-round. Use condensate when the weather is hot and dry, and air conditioning units are running at their fullest. Then switch to stored rainwater when the weather turns cooler and air conditioning systems are not in use.
Use reclaimed water - Use of cheaper, reclaimed water (Austin Water treated wastewater) to meet water needs such as irrigation, cooling towers, or other non-potable water uses significantly reduces water costs. Information about the availability, price and service application for reclaimed water can be found at: www.austintexas.gov/department/water-reclamation.
Institute an employee water conservation awareness and education program – Increasing awareness among employees on how they can save water and avoid waste on an every-day basis will increase employee pride as well as pay dividends in reducing water costs and attracting customers who want to do business with a “green” company.