Water conservation could mean big savings for healthcare facilities

By Healthcare Facilities Today
January 22, 2013

With water and sewer utility rates rising between 5 and 10 percent every year in many parts of the United States, investments in water conservation practices could lead to substantial savings for healthcare facilities, according to Healthcare Design magazine. 

Healthcare Design reports that U.S. hospitals use an average of 570 gallons of water per staffed bed, per day, while the average American citizen uses around 150 gallons of water per day.

The article suggests that the first step to conservation is to understand consumption data. This information can generally be obtained from the utility and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star Portfolio Manager has a water module similar to the one for tracking energy consumption over time. 

The second step is to analyze potential return on investment of water conservation measures for the facility, which could include maintenance tasks such as fixing leaks or larger projects like installing low-flow plumbing fixtures. 

The article goes on to discuss some long-term planning options such as rainwater collection and recycled water for non-potable uses like irrigation and toilet flushing. 

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