Reducing Water Use – An Indicator of Waste in Water Management
Conducting a water audit is a critical component of a complete building inspection that must be done by a professional. Water buildup in any structure can lead to serious damage to both the interior and exterior. A water audit will help you identify where your water is flowing every day so that you can establish realistic targets, implement effective strategies, and evaluate the most economical ways to improve your water system. With simple access to the necessary information and with a minimal amount of equipment, you can conduct an effective water audit in less than a day. You will need a couple of specific pieces of equipment to perform complete water flow analysis and inspection; a hydronic heater, and a water probe.
When you begin an audit of your facility,
you should consider how much water your facility uses and the average water usage per person. If the facility is very small, it might be hard to determine the exact amount of water it uses. However, a large industrial or commercial facility is likely to use much more water than a domestic small business. The number of people employed at the facility, along with other important factors such as the number of employees and facility size is additional good indicators of the facility’s use of water.
Once you have determined
the average amount of water used by the facility each day, you will need to identify and note the main water supply for the facility. In some facilities, the main water source can be identified by a single pipe. Other methods of identifying the main water supply include the use of color-coded tape or the presence of a warning sign. Water meters are also an effective way to track the amount of water used, though these devices are not always easily detected or understood by the average person.
After determining the main water supply that supplies the facility,
the next step of a water audit involves the detection of other possible contaminants in the facility. Indoor air quality, or the level of exposure to environmental air contaminants, is another important indicator of facility usage and abuse. The presence of biological contaminants such as bacteria or viruses in the air, as well as airborne pollutants such as irritants can also be indicators of a potentially problematic facility. A water audit should consider the possibility that biological contaminants are present in excess, and that they could be making the facility unhealthy.
Another common indicator
of a problematic facility relates to waste, loss, or contamination. The removal or reduction of waste can result in a reduced utility bill or improved energy efficiency. Reduction of waste in a facility can also improve the performance of the facility in terms of cleaning up contaminated sites, improving the condition of aging pipes and systems, or reducing odors and chemicals in the air. It is also important to note that reducing water use and waste can improve the health of the facility’s users. Water audit strategies should take these factors into account when evaluating a facility’s potential for waste or loss.
In addition to examining how a facility utilizes water,
a water audit should also examine the methods that are used to reduce water waste. For example, facilities can reduce their water usage by replacing inefficient appliances, reducing the amount of water delivered to businesses and homes, or replacing wasteful practices such as spraying pools to reduce evaporation. In some cases, reducing the amount of water waste can also lead to an increase in the value of the property. A water audit will often find indications of excessive water waste, which can result in the necessity for large-scale changes in water management practices, the cost of which will ultimately be passed on to consumers.