Facility managers continue to face unpredictable
cost increases — material pricing, utilities charges, new regulations, and
unplanned downtime, to name a few — all of which impact the cost of water.
Water has a mutually beneficial relationship with
every operation within an industrial, commercial, or healthcare facility. If
you implement more efficient equipment, in return you may use less water.
However, if you don’t keep a bird’s eye view of your entire system, this
interdependency may reduce costs in one area while causing inefficiencies
When looking to control costs, cut costs, or
maximize operational capacity, start by working with your water treatment
partner on a site audit. The site audit assesses every process in your facility
and its relation to water use, quality, and treatment.
This data collection should be considered your
guide for the next few years. It can used to highlight areas of concern that
need immediate attention, create a roadmap to a water management plan, and be
referred back to when a water-related decision needs to be made.
Following are the different ways
a site audit can inform a water management plan, which puts you on the path to
lower water use, fewer chemicals, and reduced energy consumption.
To begin, auditors map each drop of water from its
point of entry all the way to its final exit. This establishes the overall
quantity of water used. It also identifies potential leaks or places of excess.
This initial step breaks down the facility’s water use into how, when and why.
Then auditors can suggest ways to reduce overall water waste.
Next, auditors inspect each area of the facility
that uses water for efficiency. This includes sanitation, maintenance,
mechanical systems, building processes, and irrigation. For example, one
Watertech customer that makes pre-stressed concrete forms did not automate
boiler blowdowns at the time of their audit, which was causing an overuse of
water, heat, and chemicals. With a small investment in a conductivity
controller, they took the variance out of their program and saved thousands of
dollars per year. New technologies are frequently introduced that are more
affordable and more efficient than the previous version. It pays to stay up to
A water use audit does more than calculate how much
water a facility uses. It also focuses on the quality of the water used.
Checking to ensure that water is filtered and running through clean pipes to
reach its consumption point is crucial. Water chemistry strategies also play a
big role here, including quantity and frequency, testing and monitoring, as
well as the current process for analysis and taking corrective action.
Water audits help uncover potential reuses of water,
which helps facilities reduce their reliance on groundwater without sacrificing
the amount of water needed to operate their business. Water can be reused in
most non-product applications, including boilers, chillers, cooling towers and
cleaning, saving some facilities hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
The audit can shed light on areas of weakness, such
as metering, piping, pumping, storage or maintenance. Whether a simple repair is
needed, or a long-term replacement and automation plan needs to be put in
place, facility managers are equipped to be proactive instead of reactive. Audits
also take into account how behavioral changes among employees can help mitigate
the company’s water footprint.
Customers are often pleasantly surprised by audit
findings because they not only learn more about their facility, but they
understand how monitoring and making small, calculated improvements can make
their entire facility better. A water audit can optimize production, decrease
water and energy costs and leverage sustainability into a winning business
model. Start today!