In the past, saving water rarely topped the list of priorities for companies determined to save energy. Especially not in Flanders, where water scarcity hardly ever occurred. Recently, however, saving water has become one of Flemish SMEs’ biggest concerns. The rising water bills of the past few years and recent events such as the water shortage in West Flanders and a warning issued by the Court of Auditors in 2015, today, leave Flemish companies no choice but to keep their water consumption under control.
Is your company not saving as much water as you’d like? Technology is on your side! Taking these 5 tips to heart is your company’s first step to no longer consuming more water than needed.
1. Have the water pressure checked
Have your water supplier verify whether the water pressure is adequate. The average pressure in the Flanders area is 2.5 bar. 1.5 bar is the absolute minimum, but anything above 4.5 bar is advised against. In case the water pressure is too high, a pressure relief valve will reduce it without going under the recommended minimum.
2. Opt for water-saving faucets and toilets
Traditional faucets consume about 13 liters of water per minute, whereas water-saving alternatives only use 5 to 6 liters. As water-saving faucets mix in air with the water, the water jets are just as powerful. Also worth considering are electronic water-saving faucets and toilets. Equipped with a motion sensor, electronic faucets are known to consume up to 80 percent less water. Water-saving toilets in turn come with two buttons for flushing, consuming only 3 to 6 liters of water per flush instead of 10.
3. Use rainwater
More and more companies are using rainwater to significantly reduce their water costs. A rainwater well and a distribution installation are particularly interesting in the case of newly constructed buildings (provided that the water is adequately filtered and a drainage plan was submitted alongside the building application, clearly indicating the separation of wastewater and rainwater). Due to strict legislation, making the switch to rainwater is usually not cost-effective for existing buildings.
Rainwater is not suitable for drinking, washing dishes or personal hygiene purposes. Companies can, however, use rainwater for sanitary purposes (flushing toilets and cleaning floors, machines and vehicles) and sprinkler systems.
4. Order a water audit
A water audit maps all the water flows in your company, enabling you to quickly locate leaks and unnecessary consumption, and informing you where your best opportunities to save water lie. Horticultural and farming companies who wish to carry out a water audit can in some cases count on subsidies provided by the Flemish government.
Tip: Does your company wish to order a water audit? Vlakwa (Flanders Knowledge Center Water) will bring you into contact with an authorized service provider.
5. Save water with fifthplay EMS
Evidently, a water audit only captures one moment in time. That’s why many companies consciously opt for an energy management system like fifthplay EMS. It allows them to monitor and reduce their water consumption on a daily basis, and detect water leaks as soon as they occur.