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An average museum can use a significant amount of water during a single day. 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 individual circumstances, there are several options that can help 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 or for grey water usage in bathrooms, washing clothes etc. It’s not recommended that the water is used for drinking or cooking. More information about rainwater harvesting can be found on the Renewable Energy Hub website.

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 on grey water recycling can be found on the TheGreenAge website.

Pressure reduction and low flow fixtures

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. 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 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.

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. The Water Calculator website provides valuable tips on how to find and fix water leaks.