Auto Body Shops Pollution Prevention Guide
#18 - Water Conservation
Because we all depend on a safe water supply, it is important to protect and conserve our water resources. The benefits of water conservation, or the efficient use of water, include:
- Lower water bills
- Lower energy bills
- Less need to find new water sources
Major water conservation methods for auto body shops center on three areas:
- Faucet and valve water outlets
- Water temperature
- Vehicle washing (#12 - Wastewater And Sludge)
Water Conservation Tips
Here are a number of no-cost and low-cost water conservation strategies you can implement in your shop. Try to come up with some tips of your own.
Overall Shop Tips
- Posts signs to encourage water conservation.
- Reward employees who do their part to save water and come up with water saving ideas.
- Do a water audit of your shop.
- Prioritize your water conservation ideas, implementing one idea at a time before moving on to the next (especially if your ideas cost money).
- Use a broom or vacuum to clean floors instead of water.
Faucet and Valve Water Outlet Tips
- Fix all leaks and drips as soon as possible.
- Encourage your co-workers to shut off water when soaping up hands at the sink.
- Purchase water-conserving equipment.
- Install aerators on all faucets (breaks the flowing water into fine droplets and injects air while maintaining wetting efficiency).
- Install low-flow toilets or toilet displacement devices (saves more than one gallon of water per flush without affecting the normal operation of the toilet).
- When washing vehicles, turn off the hose between rinses.
The following series of questions will help you develop ways of preventing pollution through water conservation:
|1) Do you take steps to conserve water? As discussed earlier in this section, taking steps to conserve water can reduce your water and energy bills dramatically and help prevent pollution.|
|2) Have you trained your employees to conserve water? Water conservation is everyone's business, so place signs by each sink and hose outlet advising them to "Please Turn Off the Water".|
|3) Do you run a "dry shop"? Seal off all floor drains and make your facility a "dry shop". All fluid spills will then be prevented from going "down the drain" and becoming a problem for the municipal wastewater treatment plant or your septic system. Use "wet-vacs" for spill clean-up along. with other non-hazardous spill clean-up techniques.|
|4) Have you insulated your water heater or cooler and related pipes? Insulating your water heater, cooler, and related pipes can help save energy and water.|
|5) Have you installed rain sensors in your sprinkler system? If you water your lawn, consider installing a simple rain sensor. This device will automatically shut down your watering system during a rain shower.|
|6) Have you installed an oil-water separator? Oil-water separators and skimmers can help reduce the amount of hazardous wastewater and sludge you have to dispose of by separating out the oil, which can then be recycled.|