Water Conservation 101

July 25, 2013
Try these simple strategies to reduce water use before tackling more costly upgrades.
  • A 1.28 gpf toilet uses 20% less than the standard 1.6 gpf.
  • A low-flow faucet aerator that runs at 1.5 gpm can reduce water by 30% over traditional fixtures.
  • Depending on their age, urinals can use 1-5 gallons per flush. Replace a 1.5 gpf urinal with a 0.5 gpf model and save over 4,600 gallons a year, according to WaterSense (a product label program by the EPA and similar to ENERGY STAR).
  • For hotels and dormitories, use 2.0 gpm showerheads over the standard 2.5 models – users won’t notice the difference, but you will on your utility bill.
  • Reduce your turf grass area, which is a large consumer of irrigation. Drought-tolerant plants and native vegetation are a good replacement because they require less water.
  • Drip irrigation is 20-50% more water efficient than sprinklers.
  • Maintain good soil quality, which retains moisture better.
  • Group together water-intensive plants (hydrozoning).
  • Add shut-off nozzles to spray heads to target leaks.
  • Ensure water isn’t wasted on pavement areas.
  • Avoid irrigation excess by using sensors and controls to manage your watering schedule and levels.
  • Use permeable pavement, which allows stormwater to drain on your site and be filtered naturally instead of rushed toward storm sewers.
Pools and Spas
  • Backwash filters only when necessary.
  • Implement leak monitoring.
  • Use a pool cover, which cuts down on evaporation loss.
  • Evaluate the frequency of full pool drains.

  • Choose a pre-rinse spray valve that uses 1.3 gpm or less.
  • Replace old dish washers (both residential scale for small businesses and commercial grade for dining facilities) with new models that consume less water and energy.
  • If possible, eliminate garbage disposals. Better yet, install a food pulper, which uses significantly less water to turn food scraps otherwise flushed down the drain into a valuable composting resource.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Security & Technology Month

Date: May 8, 15, 22, 29. 2024Time: 1:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM CDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM GMTSponsors: Duration: 1 Hour each  Register Today!  Single sign...

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...