Best practices in water management for accommodation facilities:
What are some of the water conservation measures you can adopt? Some of the common high water use areas in accommodation facilities include; bathrooms, laundry, kitchens, grounds, water efficiency systems, housekeeping, bars, ice machines, swimming pools and Jacuzzis. The best low cost or quick return water conserving practices that you can adopt to minimize water usage in these areas include; installing faucet aerators, water efficient showerheads (i.e. low filter showerheads), lift taps, knee taps, dual cistern toilets, foot pedal valves in kitchen sinks, water pressure reducing valves etc. Some of the long term water conservation practices include; effective water monitoring and maintenance, proper training, proper communication and harvesting rain water.
1. Effective water monitoring and maintenance As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”, effective water monitoring allows you to identify leaks, track long term progress and evaluate the progress of your water conservation efforts. Water consumption in an accommodation facility should also be monitored through installing meters and taking regular meter readings. Meter readings should ideally be taken at a specific time e.g. 6pm daily for consistency purposes. It is advisable to install an in-let meter (at the source) which gives indication on the amount pumped into the main storage tanks and also an out-let meter (at the main out-let/out-lets) which provides accurate information on the actual amount of water consumed by the facility. In the case of large facilities, sub-meters can be installed at the main water usage points e.g. kitchen, laundry, staff quarters, etc. to assist in monitoring and identifying areas of high water use at the facility.
2. Proper staff training Regularly train staff on how to maintain water equipment and how to make prudent use of water. They should also be encouraged to put forward their suggestions on effective water management in the accommodation facility. Training should be done on a regular basis and it should include staff at all levels. A standard operating procedure or manual can be developed on effective water management and shared with the staff.
3. Effective communication Communicate to your guests on the importance of conserving water and provide opportunities to allow them to use water wisely. Guests can be encouraged to re-use their towels and linen if they are on a long stay by opting not to have them changed every day. This can be achieved by putting up visual signage within the guest rooms-what is commonly referred to as “towel talks”. Also, you could suggest to the guests not to leave the taps running when brushing their teeth as this can save up to 9 liters of water, each time they do so. The image below is an example of how you can communicate to your staff and guests through visual signage mounted at key consumption areas around the facility.Read more…