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Waste Prevention Round Table

Water Use


Things You Can Do Now / Past Meetings / More Resources / Contacts

Things You Can Do Now

1) Make water conservation a company policy; develop a water management plan
2) Educate and involve employees on water conservation
3) Conduct a water survey to update use needs and identify conservation opportunities
4) Repair all leaks
5) Install low flow aerators in faucets and showers
6) Install toilet tank displacement devices such as toilet dams, bags or weighted bottles
7) Install low flush diaphragm valves in existing urinals
8) use full loads in sanitizers, dishwashers, sterilizers and laundry washing machines, consistent with infection control requirements.
9) Use cleaning water wisely; it averages 10% of all the water used in a hospital
10) Operate automatic landscape sprinkler systems only when demand is low, typically 4-6 AM, and provide about 1 inch of water per week minus any rainfall.

Past Meetings

  • Managing Energy and Water in Hospitals and Biomedical Labs
    March 29, 2001 Notes

More Resources

Efficient water use helps reduce the need for costly water supply and wastewater treatment facilities, helps maintain stream flows and healthy aquatic habitats, and reduces the energy used to pump, heat and treat water.>br>

According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, hospitals use an average of 139,214 gallons per day of water. These tips, courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, suggest ways hospitals can conserve water and cut costs.

From North Carolina, this is a Water Conservation Checklist for hospitals and medical facilities

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services offers some good water conservation information, including these factsheets.

Also from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, this fact sheet provides lots of good water conservation information by topic, specifically for healthcare.

This checklist from the Southwest Florida Water Management District will help facility managers evaluate the appropriateness of water-saving adjustments for improving the efficiency of your health care facility.

WAVE is a voluntary water conservation program offered by US EPA to reduce demand for water and promote the efficient use of water and energy resources. Although there is no software currently designed specifically for healthcare, you can adapt the school software to cover about 50% of your operations (domestic uses and boilers). In a nutshell, you survey your own water use, implement profitable changes and tell EPA about your progress. EPA will provide you with software (currently there is no specific healthcare software), technical assistance and public recognition for your efforts. Hospitals can join WAVE. If you would like to know more call the Wave program at 202-564-0624 (John Flowers) or visit

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center installed flow restrictors on all faucets and kitchen equipment, replaced toilets and urinals with water efficient models, and installed recirculation systems on their autoclaves, RO/DI water treatment, medical air and vacuum pumps, and boiler blowdown wastewater. Project savings average $100,000 a year in water, sewer, and energy costs!

St. Petersburg, Florida hospital recommendations for water conservation, brief case study.

By reusing process wastewater from the Reverse Osmosis (R.O.) water filtration units, for the morgue coolers, medical vacuum pumps and laundry, the St. Boniface General Hospital will reduce water costs by approximately $47,000 per year. The total cost of the project including materials and labor was $66,412.93 with a simple payback for the project of 1.4 years.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country are under constant pressure to reduce operating expenses and allocate more revenue toward patient care. H2O Applied Technologies works to reduce water use and improve operating cost margins for hospitals and medical centers nationwide. Successful projects at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Medical Center of Princeton NJ, and New York Medical Center are presented here.

Newport Hospital explored a comprehensive integrated systems approach for energy management to improve operating efficiency and lower utility costs. Water and energy conservation projects are discussed at this web site.

This case study presents a very successful water conservation project (reducing water use by a quarter!) at a hospital that thought they had already done water conservation. As of 2002, NEMC is saving about $100K annually on their water bills. The project had a payback of less than 2 years

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services offers some good water conservation information (including one at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center).

Film processors in hospitals use an average of 3.2 acre-feet of water per year. Package systems are now available for those units that reduce water use to only one-tenth of an acre foot per hear!


Ken Grimm