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Water Banner Restaurants and food service facilities require a large amount of water on a daily basis. From steaming food and sanitizing wares to proper ventilation and efficient ice making, the food service operator must remain vigilant in order to mitigate unnecessary water usage especially in the face of California's drought.

The FSTC has produced water-saving tips from years of research in the foodservice industry that can dramatically reduce your facility's water consumption and save you on the ever-increasing cost of this essential resource.

Install High Performance, Low-Flow Pre-Rinse Spray Nozzles
One of the lowest hanging fruits in a commercial food service establishment, pre-rinse spray nozzles can potentially be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment to operate. Some nozzles can consume up to five gallons per minute (gpm), which translates to an annual operating cost of $1,500 if used for only one hour per day. Fortunately, operators can select high performance, low-flow nozzles with flow rates as low as 0.65 gpm. Cleaning just as well as the high flow units, these water efficient models can reduce annual energy and water costs by well over $1,000. For a full list of water-saving low-flow pre-rinse spray nozzles, visit the PRSV Qualified Product List.

Fix All Leaks & Install Low-Flow Aerators

Fixing even the most innocent drips from a hand sink faucet can save up to hundreds of dollars each year in water and energy. Check out the Water Leak Cost Calculator to see how much money and water you can be saving by fixing simple leaks.

You can also install low-flow hand sink aerators to curb unnecessary water consumption. Typically, hand sinks are equipped with 2.2 gpm aerators or none at all. Installation of 0.5 gpm aerators is an easy and inexpensive way to conserve water and reduce energy use. Costing only a few dollars, a single hand sink retrofitted with a 0.5 gpm aerator can reduce annual water and energy costs by $100.

Dish Machine
Steam Cooker & Combi Oven Specification
Boiler-based steam cookers are tremendous water users and can be maintenance intensive. Replacing these water guzzlers with water and energy efficient boilerless steamers can potentially reduce annual operating and maintenance costs by thousands of dollars. For more information on specifying and operating water and energy efficient steamers, visit our Steamer page.

Combination steamer-convection ovens can also consume an exorbitant amount of water. The typical boiler-based combi oven uses up to 40 gallons of water per hour, much of which is being used regardless of whether the oven is even cooking. Much like steamers, specifying a boilerless combination oven that uses less than 3.5 gallons of water per pan per hour will deliver the same product quality while using much less water. For more information on specifying and operating water and energy efficient combi ovens, visit our Combination Oven page.
Dish Machine

Dish Machine Specification & Maintenance

In busy dish rooms, an ENERGY STAR® rated dish machine can significantly reduce hot water usage in comparison to a non-ENERGY STAR machine. Modern ENERGY STAR dish machines can use up to half the water of their non-efficient predecessors, delivering significant operating cost savings. For instance, an ENERGY STAR; rated high temperature conveyor dish machine can reduce annual energy and water costs by $3,000 in a typical full service casual dining restaurant.

Drips, worn rinse nozzles, and underutilized wash racks needlessly add to the operating cost of a dish machine. Implement a regular maintenance program for the dish machine to ensure that dollars aren't going down the drain. Key points of inspection are: rinse pressure gauge, rinse nozzles, gaskets, manual or automated solenoid valves, rinse bypass slats and wash tank and booster heater temperature set points. Further, train staff to fill each rack to capacity - you pay for every load!

Ice Machine
Specify Air-Cooled Ice Machines Only
Water-cooled ice machines may be just as energy efficient as air-cooled machines, but their water consumption makes them far more expensive to operate. A 500lb per day water-cooled ice machine can use nearly 100,000 more gallons of water than its air-cooled equivalent. In terms of operating cost, the air-cooled ice machine saves $700 per year! For more tips on specifying and operating ice machines, visit our Ice Machine page.
Water Heater

Water Heaters: Regularly Inspect Temperature Pressure Relief Valves

Water Heaters are commonly hidden away in mechanical rooms allowing them to fly under the radar when implementing a water conservation program. Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) valves are the safety mechanism that keeps modern water heaters from exploding when they become over heated. However, this device can fail over time, allowing hot water to leak unnoticed. Lastly, the water storage tank will rust out eventually - regular inspection will catch the initial signs of failure before a major leak occurs. Periodically draining the tank of a few gallons of water will prevent sediment buildup and ultimately extend the life of the storage tank.

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