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Water conservation

Commercial water saving tips

General water saving suggestions

  • Read the water meter weekly to monitor water use and waste.
  • Increase employee awareness of water conservation.
  • Install signs encouraging water conservation in employee and customer restrooms.
  • When cleaning with water is necessary, use budgeted amounts.
  • Determine the quantity and purpose of water being used.
  • Assign an employee to monitor their water use and waste.
  • Seek employee suggestions on water conservation. Put suggestion boxes in prominent areas.

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Saving water with building maintenance

  • Indoor faucet drippingCheck frequently for leaks in faucets and pipes and keep them drip-free. Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can often be repaired with only an inexpensive washer. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 75 or more litres a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of litres of water before the problem is found and repaired.
  • Turn off any unnecessary flows.
  • Install low flow faucet aerators when possible. These can reduce the flow out of taps by up to 40 percent. These easy to install devices are available from your local plumbing retailer.
  • Minimize the water used in cooling equipment in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Shut off cooling units when not needed.
  • Replace existing toilets with new commercial Flushometer high efficiency models. New toilets use only 4.8 litres or less per flush while older toilets can use over 20 litres per flush.
  • Turn-off valve photoCheck toilets for leaks. Put a little food colouring or a dye tablet in the toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.
  • Install toilet water saving devices. If you would like to retrofit your old toilet, early closure toilet flappers or toilet dams are available from your local plumbing retailer. These devices can save four to eight litres of water with every flush.
  • Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash flushed is six to 20 litres of water wasted.

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Saving water outside

  • Water landscaped areas only when needed. A good way to see if the lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, fetch the sprinkler.
  • Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning generally is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus.
  • SprinklersDeep-soak landscaped areas. When you do water, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.
  • Don't water the sidewalk. Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden - not on paved areas.
  • Avoid watering on windy days.
  • Xeriscape (pronounced: ZEER-iss-skape) by planting drought-resistant trees and plants. Many beautiful trees and plants thrive with far less water than other species.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture and also discourage weed growth.
  • Remove weeds and unhealthy plants. This way, the plants will fully benefit from the water saved.
  • Keep the grass long. Longer grass provides shade for the roots and holds water better than shorter grass.
  • Be aware of what the plants need. In the spring and fall, most plants need about half the amount of water needed during the summer.
  • Use a broom - not a hose - to clean front entrances and sidewalks.
  • Pool photoUse a cover when the pool is not in use to reduce evaporation.
  • Lower the pool water level to reduce the amount of water splashed out.
  • Channel splashed out water from the pool onto landscaping.
  • Check frequently for leaks in hoses and couplings and keep them drip-free. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they're not as visible, but they are just as wasteful as leaks inside.

The ideas presented above are suggestions and not intended as an endorsement by the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department of any method, process or specific product.

Last updated: July 15, 2020

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