An average museum can use a significant amount of water during a single day and water is becoming a scarce resource in parts of the UK and across the world. Conserving water and using it efficiently can dramatically improve the environmental performance of your building and save money. While the amount of water used and the improvements available will depend on the museum itself and its circumstances, there are several options that would be suitable to improve the water usage of most museums.
Ways to reduce water use
- Rainwater harvesting. This is the collection and distribution of rainwater which, rather than going to the sewage system, can be used in everyday operations. Typically, this is done by funnelling rainwater which falls onto the roof into a reservoir fitted with a filtration device. Once the water has been filtered it can be used for grounds/garden maintenance, bathroom use, washing clothes etc, although it is not recommended that the water is used for drinking or cooking. More information can be found at Rainwater Harvesting in the UK | The Renewable Energy Hub
- Grey water recycling. “Grey water” is the wastewater from showers, baths sinks, washing machines, and other appliances, which can be recycled using an installed filtration system. More information can be found at Greywater Recycling – TheGreenAge
- Pressure Reduction Valves. Installation of pressure reduction valves on pipes automatically regulate the water pressure of the mains water to provide a lower, more functional pressure for distribution.
- Low flow plumbing fixtures. Technological improvements in plumbing fixtures to operate using a lower flow rate, or smaller flush quantity, are widely available. These include taps, toilets, and showers.
- Replacing broken machines. While it isn’t usually the most environmentally friendly option to replace a fixture where repair is possible, sometimes it is inevitable. When a machine, appliance, or fixture that uses water is broken it’s worth considering an option that uses water in a smarter way or can be fitted with water saving technology, such as dual flush toilets. More information can be found at What are the Top Water-Saving Fixtures I Need in My Home? | Direct Energy
- Fixing leaks. An easy way to reduce wasted water use is to repair any leaks from taps or pipes. A slow constant leak from a sink can use up significant amounts of water if left. More information can be found at Save Water by Reducing Indoor Water Leaks, Water Calculator