Institutions like schools use a massive amount of water every day. It isn’t just the water used in the water fountains, sinks, and showers, either; the water gets used in the heating and cooling systems. Water is needed to cook lunch, clean equipment, and water the lawn. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount that’s required. Let’s learn how schools can reduce water wastage.
Stop the Leaks
First of all, it’s a good idea to fix the little leaks that add up over time. Fix leaking taps in the bathrooms and leaking showerheads in the gym showers. Make sure the ball valves shut off after someone flushes. You could even create a system for reporting leaks so that they can be addressed immediately.
You could install automatic-shut off devices on taps and showers. Then the water won’t go down the drain because someone left it running. You could switch showerheads to low-flow models as well. Installing water aerators reduces the amount of water used, too.
You could also put toilet dams in older toilets to reduce the amount of water they use each time they are used if retrofitting with low flow toilets isn’t an option. Encourage boys to use urinals instead of toilets, and replace standard urinals with waterless versions. Sweep walkways instead of hosing them down. Also, make sure that you turn off the water to the bathrooms outside of school hours.
Note that these same concepts can be applied to the classroom. You could encourage art students to rinse brushes in containers instead of under a running tap, for instance.
Tame Your Landscaping
There are several ways in which you can reduce the amount of water used to maintain the landscape. Know how often the plants need to be watered instead of watering them based on assumptions. Don’t run the sprinklers if it has rained recently. Water the grass in the evenings or early in the morning to minimise evaporation. Switch to soaker hoses instead of sprinklers that may spray water on the pavements.
You should also consider replacing green lawns with shrubs or native ground cover that requires less water. Let the lawns and playing fields grow a little taller. If the grass is two inches taller, it will shade the soil and improve water retention. Furthermore, the thicker grass will survive droughts better and resist insect damage.
Review Your Utility Bill
It is quite likely that you’re overpaying for utilities in a variety of ways. Utility Bidder has a useful article on the secrets of the water industry. One of the things they touch on is routine overcharging by utility companies. You might be paying based on average usage instead of a pay-by-use plan. Switching plans could save you money, especially if you’re working on reducing water usage. You can negotiate water costs, as well.
Control Water Usage in Food Preparation
Consider replacing existing sprayers with low-flow models. Encourage staff to wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Soak dishes and wash fruits and vegetables in a sink of standing water instead of doing so under a full-flowing tap.
Schools in the United Kingdom spend around £70 million a year on water. However, this amount can be greatly reduced without impacting public health or becoming an inconvenience.