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How to reduce water waste in your business 

Best practices for companies to prevent wastage of water 

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Are you concerned about the water usage and you are looking for ways on how to reduce water waste in your business? Here are the most important key areas and best sustainability trends adopted by other companies.

Water availability and quality make up one of the most pressing needs of the 21st century, and everyone has a part to play in dealing with the water inequality crisis. Given this reality, water waste is a significant concern for everyone, especially companies that utilize water in their industry. How to reduce water waste in your business by looking at the amount of the natural resource used? We dig deeper into what some companies are already doing for you to jump on the train of sustainability business trends!

The urgent to reduce water waste

Did you know that, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans use 82 gallons of water a day at home, on average? That comes to nearly 30,000 gallons a year per person. That is a lot of water!

Now think about an average company, the number of people potentially employed, and basic water usage. Factor in on-site bathrooms, drinking water, and even landscaping and maintenance. That doesn’t even account for companies that utilize water in their business, such as car washes. It becomes clear that water waste reduction is something that needs to be addressed by companies as well as individuals.

The EPA provides plenty of examples of ways to reduce water waste at commercial facilities. These case studies are practical examples of how different industries have responded to the challenge of wastewater generation. Sometimes these methods are highly innovative, such as the solution employed by the La Rinconada Country Club in San Jose, California. The club utilized a drone to scan the area to determine the areas needing water and focused on those sections.

Not every business can justify the costs of a drone for landscape irrigation, but this approach does show that there are many creative ways to reduce water waste. But what about a company that uses water as a primary agent of what it does? For instance, what options does a car wash have in reducing water waste?

Industry example: car washes

When it comes to businesses that use a lot of water, car washes immediately come to mind. How have car wash companies reduced the waste of water in their industry? A two-year study by the International Car Wash Association monitored the usage of water and conservation efforts across different car wash types, such as self-service, in-bay automatic, and conveyor car washes.

How to reduce water waste in your business 
Photo credit: Zulfahmi Khani from Unsplash

The study had three particular goals:

  • Water Consumption — auditing study sites for water use cycles and gallons per vehicle per wash type.
  • Evaporation and Carryout — collecting data on the water lost through the evaporation of water on-site and the water carried out on the car as it left the wash site.
  • Conservation and Reclaim — running audits to identify potential conservation measures through equipment changes and repairs.

The study made several interesting findings about the quality and type of equipment used in the different car washes across the three test sites. Specifically, the in-bay car wash systems appeared to have the greatest impact.

A sustainable car wash business model

How to reduce water waste in a carwash business

There is evidence that the equipment quality used in car washes can have a significant effect on water waste with car wash companies. With multiple stages of the washing process that use water at various intensities, parts can become worn and could benefit from fine-tuning. Eco-friendly wash equipment and practices and efficient parts can help car wash businesses reduce water waste. For instance, low-flow water nozzles, a variable frequency drive (VFD), and filtration systems can be used to clean and reclaim wastewater in the washing process.

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Water reduction strategies for businesses

While companies have different water needs and use water for various purposes, some general strategies that can help reduce water waste include the following:

Reclaiming Water

The ability to reclaim water can significantly increase the efficiency of a business’s use of its water supply. One way to recycle water is to harvest a natural source of water: rain. Harvesting rainwater can provide a company with a low-cost water supply for various purposes. 

Water technology

Technology can present several innovative solutions for reducing water waste. Technology is reactionary and develops based on need, and the need for water waste reduction across the business world is more extensive than ever. 

When examining how technology can alleviate the water crisis, consider how a company might tackle issues such as distribution, access, and quality in their industry.

Water filtration

Water filtration is essential because it works not only at the point of consumption but also at the point of waste. While water filtration is vital to at-home consumption of water, properly filtered water is also crucial for companies and their employees. 

Using on-site wastewater filtering can increase the reusability of localized water sources and help prevent pollution from getting into community water sources.

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Sustainable landscaping

A company needs to have a professional and attractive face. However, landscaping can utilize a lot of water. Maintaining a professional-looking site using sustainable landscaping makes sense for eco-minded entrepreneurs

Utilizing wastewater from existing processes in the company, for example, can significantly impact the amount of water waste generated. It’s possible to have an attractive location for your business while also being water-wise.

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Bringing it all together

While the amount of water used by a company depends on what the company does, there are ways that any company can reduce its water waste. Water waste reduction doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, either. The car wash industry, for example, has the potential to be a massive contributor to water waste, but as seen here, there are many ways to reduce the impact of wasting this natural resource. 

Whether it comes from generalized strategies or the specific equipment and actions tailored to certain industries, water waste reduction is possible and necessary for the world’s good. 

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Jordan McDowell

Jordan McDowell is a writer and content strategist. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for a number of digital companies including NS Corporation.

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