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What should you being doing about the water crisis?

By Linda Jackson on 17 September 2016

Use this checklist to make sure you are doing all those small things that can make a big difference in saving water, saving you money and saving the planet.

No 1: Implement an inspection programme that looks like:

  • Submeters that will identify a trend of increased usage that cannot be associated with increased production activities.
  • Equipment or areas where leaks could occur, like pipe-work joints, connections and fittings.
  • Look for Indications such as rising dampness, rust marks or swelling boards.
  • Check equipment in addition to pipes and hoses.
  • Underground pipe-work using leakage detection companies can employ techniques such as pressure testing, flow monitoringand echo correlation.

No 2: Reevaluate existing processes

Cleaning in the food industry is paramount to ensure safe and hygienic conditions. There are however alternatives that can and should be considered.

Saving Water Indoors

  • Ensure you use only brooms, squeegees and dry vacuumcleaners to clean surfaces before washing with water.
  • Ensure washing equipment has aerated spray nozzles with shut-off valves.
  • Ensure hoses are fitted with high-pressure, low-volume nozzles with shut-off valves.
  • Where possible, mop floors instead of hosing.
  • Switch from wet carpet cleaning methods (e.g. steam cleaning) to dry power methods or spot cleaning.

 Saving Water outdoors

  • Sweep parking, paved, plant and path areas rather than hosing
  • Reconsider the need to washbuilding exteriors or other outside structures.
  • Reduce the frequency of cleaning external equipment and floors where possible.
  • Change window-cleaning schedules from 'regular' to 'as required' and use squeegees.
  • Washvehicles only as needed. Wash the inside of trucks only.
  • Limit the use of high-pressure sprayers, unless they are needed to protect human health and maintain safety.
  • For equipment that needs to be cleaned regularly, consider using process waterfrom other areas.
  • Consider alternative methods of cleaning, such as vacuums.
  • Use scrapers and brooms to remove residue build-up in plant machinery.
  • Regularly check that spray nozzles are aimed correctly.
  • Plant an indigenous garden around the company, use stones and pots to create features.

No 3: Modify equipment

A small modification in existing equipment can result in substantial water savings.

  • Install trigger-operated guns on hoses so that operators can use less water during clean up.
  • Change taps, nozzles and shower fixtures to high pressure, low volume alternatives.
  • Add timers and/or pedals to assure water is used sparingly and efficiently.
  • Adjust flows to the minimum required to maintain performance.
  • Install in-line strainers on sprayer heads.
  • Adjust pump cooling and water flushing to minimum required for operations.
  • As appliances and equipment wear out, replace them with water-saving models.
  • Install water saving toilet systems (e.g. low flush, vacuum, dehydration, or composting toilets), adjust flush valves.
  • Install tap aerators and high efficiency showerheads.
  • Choose conveying systems that use water efficiently.

 Don’t forget to train staff on water saving initiatives. New methods of cleaning will take a while to implement and will need constant supervision.

Share any other water saving ideas you may have.