With a little inspiration and innovation, there are many opportunities to reduce water consumption in heavy manufacturing operations, without reducing production.
Begin the Process
- Conduct a water audit of the site. This may involve a detailed inventory of existing plant, equipment and plumbing, and operational procedures. Advice on conducting water audits is provided in the texts listed in the resources section. Contact us to find out more about our Large Customer Audit Program.
- Develop a standard reporting procedure for water issues. This should include:
- Total water use over a defined period (week, month, quarter).
- Water use performance of major plant and processes.
- A comparison to previous water use patterns and identified goals.
- Issues that need addressing (such as leaks), and responsibilities for action.
- Establish a water conservation education program that encourages all staff to use water sparingly.
- Engage all levels of staff in brainstorming and developing water saving initiatives.
- Consider holding water efficiency awards to encourage staff to get involved. This is also a good way to collect and develop water saving ideas.
- Use water meter data and reports to identify leaks early.
- Replace worn seals on water pipes.
- Repair leaking pipes, valves or other equipment.
- Monitor wash tanks and storage tanks to ensure they do not overflow.
- Ensure all taps are turned off when not in use.
On the Production Line
- Adjust flow rates to the minimum required for the operation.
- Make sure water sprayers and jets turn off when the production line halts or ceases. Use timers or motion sensors to do this.
- Install high pressure, water efficient spray jets.
- Install flow restrictors and regulators where appropriate.
- Use pedals and timers to deliver water only when needed.
- Use fogging nozzles to cool products.
- Inspect nozzles for clogging regularly.
Water Wise Rules apply from 1 July 2014, these rule are concentrated on outdoor water usage which do apply to the manufacturing industry.
- All hand held hoses outdoors must have a trigger nozzle
- No hosing of hard surfaces such as paths and driveways unless for health and safety purposes
- All vehicles should be washed with a bucket, trigger nozzle hose or pressure cleaner