Conserving Water at your Restaurant – How to do it the right way


Water scarcity already affects every continent and more than 40 percent of the people on our planet. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will

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be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions.
(Source: unwater.org)

With stats like these, it is crucial to act fast on conserving this precious resource.

Conserve water to increase restaurant profitability

According to The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), the restaurant … and the average food service facility uses 300,000 gallons of water per year.

Implementing water conservation measures at your business becomes easier and actionable when you are aware of the incentives and rebates that the government and many organizations offer. What you must do now: Check your county website to find available rebates.

Here’s a look at a few of the incentives available in the California state:

* Santa Clara County offers many incentives to small business to save water, some are:

  • Free High-Efficiency Toilet Installation Program
  • Free Pre-Rinse Sprayers and Faucet Aerators
  • “Drinking Water By Request” – free laminated table signs
  • Landscape Survey Program
  • Landscape Rebate Program

Find more information about the Santa Clara county rebates here.

* San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) offers free on-site surveys. If you operate a restaurant in San Francisco, CA, see http://www.sfwater.org/ to find out how to save money on your water bill.
(Source: SF Dept of Public Health)

Case studies of restaurants who have championed water conservation

Ivar’s Inc. owns and operates three main full-service restaurant and over 33 smaller Seafood Bars, as well as 11 Kidd Valley Hamburger stores. Over few years, Ivar’s Inc. has installed energy efficient equipments and made strategic changes to

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its operations resulting in major reductions in water consumption. The improvements produced end-use water savings of over 50 percent from historical use. Factoring in inflation, Ivar’s expects to save more than $1 million in less than 10 years.
(Source: savingwater.org)

The Saunders Hotel Group had to reduce water use due to high water rates and use restrictions. They installed new and efficient laundry systems, switched from water-cooled to air-cooled ice machines, and

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eliminated water-cooled air conditioning equipment. These projects saved the hotel 1.5 million gallons of water annually.
(Source: zerowaste.org)

Involve employees and customers

  • Your water conservation plans can be effectively implemented with employee participation. It is essential to train employees on how daily water conservation steps must be followed. Offer lead roles or incentives when formulating and implementing water policies at your restaurant.
  • Inform customers that water would be available on request, offer tips for water conservation using flyers at the tables.
  • Regular checking on water usage at your facility and performing regular maintenance must also be on your policy.

Implement these water conserving actions

Some easy ways to reduce water usage can be done by implementing the following actions:

Use aerators in faucets

Aerators add air into the water stream to increase the sensation of flow. Aerators typically cost no more than a few dollars, and using WaterSense labeled faucets or aerators could reduce a water usage by more than 500 gallons annually.

Use pre-rinse valves in kitchen faucets

Low-flow spray valves can save a restaurant up to $1,000 a year, according to the Food Service Technology Center. Check with your local utility or water district for rebates or repayment programs.

Check for water leaks regularly

A slow drip hot water leak can result in more than 6,000 gallons of water loss per year. You can save up to or more than $75/yr by checking and repairing water leaks.

Use dishwasher only when fully loaded

Running fully loaded dish racks and cutting wash cycles could save you hundreds of dollars annually. Considering buying a new dishwasher – save with an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher – you can save up to $720 for electricity annually and $300 for water annually.

Limit garbage disposal usage

Draining water down the garbage disposal drain can be avoided if you scrape all the food waste to a compost bin. That’s adding to your sustainability efforts – less waste, makes soil – the next step, grow your own food!

Use efficient ice machines

A large amount of water that restaurants consume goes in producing ice. Buying energy efficient ice machines is essential to conserve water at your restaurant. See other actions on improving water efficiency with an efficient ice machine at 500gallons.com application.

Install high efficiency toilets and urinals

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Ultra HETs (High Efficiency Toilets) can save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year. Waterless urinals can result in large savings for a restaurant since it eliminates both the water and its equivalent sewage treatment costs. A water-less urinal saves on average thousands of gallons of water per year!

 

The list doesn’t end here; there’s much more you can do so conserve water and save money at your restaurant. Use 500gallons.com’s extensive knowledgebase to find more info on the above actions.

See how 500Gallons can help you implement these sustainable actions, market them to your customers for further customer loyalty and add on to your profitability by reminding you on the maintenance of your appliances and fixtures.

With rising water bills, conserving water also

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equates to savings and profitability for a business. With few easy

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installations and policies in place you can save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every year! And that’s a big deal – imagine the scale of environmental benefit if all restaurants and hotel chains strive to

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be sustainable.

Conservation can save the human race. Preserve and conserve water – make every day World Water Day!

What’s your water policy? How do you conserve water at your restaurant or business?

Resources and references:

  • 500gallons.com actions knowledgebase
  • EnergyStar.gov
  • epa.gov
  • fishnick.com
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