Restaurants use a lot of water (the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority found water use ranging from 6 to 29 gallons of water per meal served). Fortunately, restaurants also have a lot of ways to save water. Those savings multiply, particularly when you save hot water, because that also saves energy.
Many of the changes you can make to save water do require some investment, e.g. replacing toilets with more than 3.5 gpf with low flow (1.6 gpf) or ultra-low flow (1.2 gpf) toilets. However, the great majority of the “big investment” changes pay for themselves within 18 months or less.
Here are some water-saving tips at the lower end of the cost spectrum. See the resources page for additional water-saving ideas and those requiring more investment:
- Install high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves on your dishwasher. These are low cost and can pay for themselves in a month to a few months.
- Pre-soak utensils and dishes in basins of water, rather than in running water.
- Instead of using a continuous flow of water in drain trays for the beverage island, turn it off and wash thoroughly when needed.
- Operate dishwashers with full loads only and shut off when not in use.
- Learn to read your water meter and monitor it frequently for early warning signs of leaks. Fix all leaks immediately; a leaking faucet can waste 1000 gallons of water a week.
- Reduce the water used to wash down floors by using a low-flow spray broom, or install self-closing low-flow spray nozzles on hoses.
- Install low-flow aerators for all sinks; add hands free or foot-activated pedals or automatic shut-offs where appropriate.