One of the best ways to conserve water in an apartment building is to make sure all the apartments and every common, public area has low-flow fixtures. Toilets, sinks, and shower heads that use less water are excellent choices, because they reduce how much water gets used automatically, without having to think about it.
- Replacing a standard kitchen or bathroom faucet aerator with a 0.5 GPM low flow aerator can save up to 80 percent less in water consumption.
- Installing low-flow showerheads (2.0 GPM or lower) and low-flush toilets (1.28 gallons per flush or lower) save up to 50 percent.
- Standard toilets can be retrofitted with a dual flush system that reduces the amount of water used for liquids and it is less expensive than replacing the whole toilet. Dual flush systems work best with 1.6- to 3.5 gallon per flush (GFP) toilets but can also be used on 1.28 GPF.
Smart Landscaping to Conserve Water
Reduce water consumption by installing smart controllers that detect moisture and track local weather then change watering patterns. Commercial Evapotranspiration Technology (ET)-based controllers tell the water source when to turn on and off based on current conditions so that overwatering in minimized or even eliminated.
Limit Lawn Watering by Using Native Plants
If you choose plants and grasses that are native to your environment, they won’t require as much water to keep them alive and healthy. That’s great news when it comes to water conservation, and can also save you a lot of money over time. These kinds of plants also often cost less, because they are common to the area and don’t have to be imported. That makes it a money-saving win on two counts.
Avoid Water Features Like Pools and Fountains
The more water features you have for tenants and guests, the more water you’re going to have to use. It’s a much better choice to eliminate those kinds of things. You can still have a great apartment community without a big community pool, and it’s not necessary to have fountains in the lobby or out front in order to impress potential tenants. Rather than focus on those things, conserve water and focus on other ways to make the complex and the community areas great.
Recycle Rain Water and “Gray” Water
With barrels and other collection devices, you can use rain water and “gray” water – the water from sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines – to water the lawn and other landscaping features. This water doesn’t cost anything, and it’s safe to use for many different types of applications. It will help you spend less on the landscaping, while still having it look good. With so many ways to conserve water in an apartment building, it’s surprising that more landlords aren’t making it a priority. If you add it to the list of important ways to save money, you’ll be ahead of many other complex owners.
Look for WaterSense-Certified Products
Water conservation products certified by WaterSense®, a partnership program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are readily available and are certified to use less water while not affecting efficacy. The WaterSense program was launched to provide businesses and consumers with easy ways to save water, as both a label for products and a resource to people.
Apartment communities have a great opportunity to conserve water by making a few small tweaks in their buying by seeking out water conservation products. Properties will not only save on their utility bills but will leave more water for future generations.