A report from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution suggests that California’s current drought is the worst in 1,200 years, and even a sustained stretch of rainfall will not do much to ease the water shortage.
State and local officials are calling for everyone to reduce their water use, and the sanitation industry is no exception. These 5 ways sanitation workers can conserve water may only amount to a drop in the bucket, but right now every drop counts.
5 Ways Sanitation Workers Can Conserve Water
1) Start at home.
...or in this case, the home office. Have any leaking faucets or pipes fixed, install low-flow fixtures in office bathrooms and kitchens, and replace any water-hogging plants or landscaping with desert or native plants that require less water.
You can even ask a professional to conduct an audit of your facility’s water use and make water savings suggestions. This also provides a benchmark to track future water efficiency improvements.
2) Update existing equipment with water-saving modifications.
The Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management group has suggestions for modifying equipment to save water. Possibilities include installing trigger-operated guns on hoses; adding in-line strainers on sprayer heads; and adjusting flows to the minimum required to maintain performance.
3) Replace worn-out equipment with devices designed for conservation.
Hoses that leak and parts that do not hold water properly are clear candidates for repair or replacement. If you do replace old parts, consider new models that are designed for conservation.
Fixtures made for high pressure, low volume water use, or with triggers or shutoff controls to save water, can help reduce water use and prevent waste.
4) Use “dry” cleaning methods first.
While the easiest way to keep a truck, equipment or work site clean may be to hose it off, a bit of work with a broom, vacuum or dry sponge can do much of the same cleaning work without wasting water.
Another conservation method is washing equipment in a water bath rather than with a hose or sprinkler whenever possible. This also allows for the reuse of water with minimal waste.
5) Educate employees and create awareness.
The direct impact of employee awareness is not immediately obvious compared to the methods above, but increased education and a conservation mindset are some of the best tools for reducing water use over time.
Make employees aware of water scarcity issues and the impact of conservation. Encouraging innovative solutions and problem solving to reduce water use can also lead to greater conservation throughout your company.
Southland Tool offers dry vacuuming products and other tools that sanitation workers use to conserve water and perform efficiently. For more product information, click here.