Importance of water conservation in commercial washrooms
Water resources are becoming scarcer; therefore, it is important to consider options for lowering the amount of water used in everyday life. According to BBC News, the National Drought Group moved England into “Prolonged Dry Weather” status – the stage before a drought – at an emergency meeting. In the first three months of the year, England’s rainfall was down 26% and in Wales, it was down 22%. Even before summer started, this meant that average river flows were “below normal” or “exceptionally low”. Therefore, as a potential UK drought looms, it’s essential to consider how to conserve water.
The desire to design green systems has never been higher in today’s commercial buildings. It is a designer, architect’s, or engineer’s goal not only to provide a practical design but also to keep usage to a minimum and energy efficiency to a maximum.
Many commercial buildings such as schools, hospitals, offices and hotel buildings require considerable water volume for their systems, including food services, toilets, washing facilities and irrigation systems. With the increasing desire to design green systems and ecological buildings, it is crucial to determine the applications with the greatest water consumption to prioritise and design a water-saving solution.
With the average person in the UK consuming 142 litres of water per day, we now have a social responsibility to make sure we are making every effort to preserve such a precious resource. Water consumption has increased by 1% every year since the 1930s, and it is predicted that by 2050 there will be a 40% water shortage for people living in the UK. Globally, water scarcity affects 4 out of every ten people across every continent. Making small changes such as replacing a leaky tap or purchasing a more efficient tap that uses less than five litres per minute will be as friendly to your wallet as it will to the environment.
Water saving products
The demand for water management systems has increased with a huge focus on energy optimisation of building operations and efficiency. The government have introduced a 25-year environment plan which outlines initiatives to help to conserve water. The industry has already taken the lead towards achieving this through the use of The Water Label. The Water Label has driven the reduction in water and energy use from water using bathroom products since 2007.
Green systems have become an important design feature when designing and specifying energy-efficient buildings. Water conservation can be incorporated into nearly any new or refurbished building with or without the need to achieve LEED points. Everyday water-saving products include water-free urinals, touch-free taps and sophisticated flushing systems; by using more of these products, we can ensure that we are using water efficiently. KWC DVS has designed a range of water-saving products from taps to WC and urinal flushing systems.
KWC DVS has a range of touch-free taps that are cost-effective and save water. The opto-electronically controlled F5 taps are ideal for high-usage washrooms and provide enhanced water management features. The F5 sensor taps have an auto shut-off function to prevent water wastage. The shutdown time is adjustable via an optional remote control, allowing you to set parameters to save water usage. The range of touch-free electronic Aquarius taps are perfect for large washrooms with high water consumption. The taps can be optimised using the handheld programmer with various run-on times, auto shut of functions and many more. Different aerators can also be added to reduce the amount of water flow per minute.
Touch-free urinal and WC sensors
Incorporating electronic urinal and WC controls can also save massive water in large public buildings. The controls can be set to flush at specific periods. Standard WC flushing uses around 6 litres per flush; with urinal control sensors, you can regulate the amount of water flushed. This could potentially be from 0 to 5 Litres per flush with our electronic flush kits. Therefore, by adding urinal and WC flush controls, you could save up to 170,000 litres of water in just one year, equivalent to 566 large fish tanks!
KWC DVS has also designed the Aquari-Save water control valve to reduce water consumption by setting a pre-determined frequency of water release, reducing the amount of water usage per day. When used with the handheld programmer, adjustable time durations can be set, including flush times and hygiene purges. The programmer will allow quick and easy settings adjustments, including run-on time, range, purge and more. Real-time data can be uploaded from the programmer via the USB port to allow accurate monitoring of water efficiency. The unit can be installed quickly and easily and, when used effectively, can conserve water in various commercial buildings such as stadiums, restaurants, schools, offices and more.
Water saving example
Water conservation can help save the environment and money. For example, in an office of 200 people, we have calculated that you could conserve around £4,000 within three years by swapping the current taps from manual to electronic or self-closing taps. Self-closing and electronic taps can cost around £600 per year, whereas manual taps could cost over £2,000 per year. Replacing old taps with more efficient taps could save over 2.6 million litres in three years. This is enough to fill an Olympic size swimming pool.