Water Saving Engineering for Reducing Your Eco-Friendly Carbon Footprint
Water is essential not only for domestic and agricultural purposes but also for manufacturing things that we use every day like paper, pens, automobiles, electronic gadgets, electricity, etc. In an industry apart from manufacturing processes, water is required for maintenance, housekeeping, plumbing and gardening. In addition to large consumption of water, pollution is also a matter of serious concern since the effluent water contains harmful pollutants. Industries depend upon groundwater or purchase water to meet their needs. If efficient water saving strategies is adopted, a lot of money can be saved which can be utilized for further development or for the welfare of the employees.
1. WATER MAPPING
Identify the routes through which water is extracted (either from ground water or purchased from local bodies) and utilized in various places within the industry. This method of identifying the routes of water flow and consumption is called water mapping. Try to quantify the water consumed in various places using meters. Thus, an overall idea of water consumption is clearly understood. Try to balance the amount of water extracted and released for treatment. In most of the cases, imbalances exist due to evaporation loss, floor washing, drinking purposes, watering plants, etc.
2. IDENTIFICATION OF MAJOR CONSUMERS
Water mapping helps us to identify major consumers of water. Implement innovative water conserving techniques and analyze the results. Even if the techniques require higher investments, the payback period is small because of their higher water saving efficiency, thereby reducing the amount of money spent for purchasing water.
3. INSTALLING WATER SAVING DEVICES
Flow restrictors can be installed on plumbing devices to reduce the amount of water released per minute. Press type, shower, adjustable flow aerator faucets should be used in place of normal faucets. Sensor based faucets are ideal water conserving devices because of their unique aspect of stopping the water flow once the hand is removed.
4. RECYCLING AND REUSING THE WASTE WATER
Effluent and sewage treatment plants should be installed compulsorily for utilizing the waste water after proper treatment. Treated effluent water can be reused for manufacturing processes where it was released earlier. Harmful pollutants in the effluent are removed during the treatment process and help to combat pollution to a greater extent. Similarly, sewage treated water can be reused for flushing and gardening thus reducing the stress on ground water.
5. IMPROVING GROUND WATER TABLE
Water intensive industries extract large quantities of ground water. In the long run, ground water will be completely depleted leaving the production process stranded. Rainwater harvesting ensures water supply for years to come. Hence, identifying groundwater recharge pits, wells or exhausted bore wells within the industry is a good start. Rainwater can be collected, filtered and then released into the recharge areas. Water saved is water gained.
If possible, storm water can be collected through channels and can be used for recharging ground water. Stormwater should be checked for the possible presence of heavy metals or toxic chemicals before using it for improving groundwater.
If you plan to have a pool of green or flowering plants around your campus, try to select drought-resistant species for gardening. Adopt drip irrigation if necessary, to reduce water wastage. Do not consider using sprinklers during the afternoon since evaporation loss will be higher. It is recommended to water the plants before 9 a.m. in order to reduce water loss due to evaporation.
Regular water consumption monitoring and periodic water consumption audits should be done to improve water conservation. Replacement of leaking faucets and defective meters should be done without further delay.
Encourage your employees who come up with new ways to save or reduce water usage by providing incentives. The incentives may be financial (cash prize) or reputational incentives (i.e. honoring them with titles. E.g.: ‘Innovator of the week’).
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