Measuring Facility Water Costs Never Stops

May 29, 2014

Measuring Facility Water Costs Never Stops

The old adage, you can’t manage what you can’t measure, has never been more important for the facilities manager than how it applies very directly today to water usage in their buildings.

Considering the price of water in America doubled per the Consumer Price Index from 1983-2010 and will continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation, accurate measuring and smart managing are more important than ever when evaluating your facility’s water efficiency management plans.

For facilities managers looking for guidance with water conservation, the EPA’s WaterSense partnership program may be a valuable tool.

The good news about WaterSense: It’s working. From the beginning of the program in 2006-13, consumers have saved nearly 500 billion gallons of water.

WaterSense has assembled sections covering the water needs and some suggested To Do Lists and Best Management Practices to help facilities managers better understand and manage water usage for various types of commercial buildings, from offices and schools to hospitals and industrial structures.

Reinforcing all of this extensive and vital information about best practices and suggested action plans are the dire and costly outcomes that can happen when facilities management reviews aren’t as thorough and timely as they should be.

The financial losses due to leaks and unattended water usage can be very expensive, particularly in these times when operating budgets at hospitals are being slashed to the bone in line with Medicare reimbursements leveling off or dropping.

Consider the staggering financial fallout for leaks when those losses are stretched out over an entire facility.

  • One toilet leaking a half-gallon per minute can waste 21,600 gallons of water each month, leading to an annual loss of $2,100.
  • An unattended water hose releasing 10 gallons a minute can waste 5,400 gallons in a day and $16,000 over 12 months.
  • The stuck float valve in a cooling tower wasting 5 gallons a minute can lose 216,000 gallons in a month and $21,000 after a single year.
  • A broken distribution line leaking at 15 gallons per minute can waste as much as $64,000 yearly if not found and fixed.

The most glaring statistic that reinforces the need to be diligent about leaks all of the time: At least 6 percent of a facility’s total water usage can be chalked up to leaks.

For help with conserving water at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.