7 Tips for Reducing Water Use in Manufacturing
There is a strong connection between energy systems optimization and reducing water consumption–“energy water nexus” is probably a buzz phrase you’ve heard a lot lately. The connection goes both ways: Reducing water use decreases the energy needed to pump water from its source to its disposal. Plus, reducing hot-water use reduces the energy needed for heating water as well.
With water already a scarce commodity in parts of the United States, manufacturers will see their water and sewage bills climb steadily in coming years. Installing new water-reduction equipment, as well as modifying manufacturing processes so that less water is used and wastewater is captured and re-used, will help keep your water bills manageable. Just like with energy use, the starting point is benchmarking. Once you identify how, where, how much and for what purpose water is used in your facilities, the reduction opportunities will jump out at you.
To get you started, here are some general methods for reducing water consumption (courtesy of Ohio’s Office of Compliance Assistance & Pollution Prevention).
1. Identify unnecessary uses and fix leaks.
2. Use minimum amounts of water to accomplish the task.
3. Re-circulate water within a process or a group of processes, or reuse water sequentially.
4. Treat and reclaim used water.
5. Replace potable water supplies with water from non-potable water supplies when possible.
6. Install meters on high-flow processes and equipment to track and reduce water use.
7. Identify alternative processes that are less water-intensive.