Published onAugust 23rd, 2021
Green Plumbing Technology Can Help You Conserve Water and Save Money
If you own or manage property in New York City and are a bit mystified by the term “green plumbing technology,” this post is for you. The experts at Sanitary Plumbing take the ambiguity out of the concept and explore specific actions you can take to make your plumbing system both more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. Here are nine ways you can go green in your building.
Use Fixtures That Consume Less Water
Conserve and save
One of the easiest ways to implement green plumbing technology is to simply use kitchen and bath fixtures that draw less water. With increasing drought conditions around the country and water now being a commodity (traded on Wall Street like oil or gold), everyone should be treating water like the precious resource that it is.
There are multiple ways to conserve water in your property:
- Low-flow showerheads and faucets
- Toilets with smaller tanks
- Automatic shut-off controls for public sinks
- Reduced-flow restroom urinals
- Automated irrigation for landscaping (see below)
- Regular boiler maintenance to prevent unnecessary feeding
- Repairs for dripping taps and running toilets
- Leak monitoring devices for pipes
- Routine pump checks to eliminate constant running
Recycle when possible
There are multiple ways to recycle grey wastewater, depending on your building’s use and what is being disposed of. Greywater recycling is common on cruise ships and other large marine vessels where freshwater is scarcer. Water that has not been contaminated by toxins, grease, or feces can usually be diverted from the sewage main for other uses, such as watering your landscaping. An in-house greywater treatment system can handle the job. In some cases, like with single-family homes and small rental properties, you can use greywater directly. For instance, water from your laundry can be used to water your yard, as long as the detergent you use is biodegradable.
Utilize Fewer Chemicals to Resolve Plumbing Problems
Protect the water distribution system
The fewer chemicals you use, the easier it is to recycle water. Also, using fewer harmful compounds reduces the amount of toxins going back to the city for removal. And, it prevents more toxins from seeping into groundwater.
Examples of places where you can use fewer chemicals include snaking clogged drains instead of using chemical drain cleaners or utilizing pipe repair products with no volatile compounds. Think about the lifecycle of PVC products before replacing all your metal pipes with PVC, which cannot be recycled. Encourage industrial tenants to examine processes where they could also reduce toxic waste.
Install Solar Water Heaters
Reduce fossil fuel consumption
Green plumbing technology isn’t just about conserving water or producing less water waste; it’s also about minimizing fossil fuels and reducing the size of the city’s carbon footprint. Wherever you can replace natural gas or oil, you can often save on energy use.
Saving on electricity, which is sometimes partially generated by fossil fuels, is also important. Therefore, using solar water heaters when possible is one way to make your property a little greener.
Consider Tankless Water Heaters
Another way to use less gas
If solar isn’t an option for you, tankless water heaters are a great alternative. Also known as on-demand water heaters, these devices only heat water as your tenants need it, so you’re not firing a boiler when demand isn’t there. Tankless heaters can be configured to serve just one unit or grouped together to provide hot water to multiple apartments.
Irrigate with Green Sprinkler Systems
Don’t forget outside
One of the greatest wastes of water in New York and across the country is inefficient landscape watering. There are many ways to go greener here, starting with automating irrigation. Rather than running a hose or sprinkler manually, it’s better to set a timer to turn the water on or off at preset times. This way, you can run it at night, which results in less water lost to evaporation.
Even better, consider using a smart watering system, similar to a smart thermostat for your interior. Pioneered in drought-ridden parts of the US, these systems monitor local weather conditions (no need to water when rain is in the forecast) and use unique data from the property to spray the right amount of water. Irrigation is applied in short bursts, so it has a chance to be absorbed before more is added. This reduces runoff, which is a huge problem in New York City due to the high amount of pavement here.
Take Advantage of the City’s Green Stormwater Incentive Program
Manage runoff better
Speaking of runoff, excess rainwater is a problem too, as recent storms have illustrated. Tunnels, underpasses, and subway stations in New York flooded quickly. To counter that, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection is launching a new Green Stormwater Incentive Program. Larger property owners will be given financial assistance to create better drainage and more areas to absorb rainfall. Be on the lookout for more information from DEP about how you can participate.
Educate Tenants About Green Plumbing Technology
You both save
Don’t forget to include your tenants in your approach to green plumbing. Educating them about conserving water and why you are upgrading your plumbing technology can benefit you both, especially when it comes to your water bill. Also, instructing them about what should and shouldn’t go down the drain, for example, will save your plumbing components, improve the city’s water, and reduce the number of hassle calls you get for things like clogged drains and grinder pumps.
Collaborate with Professionals Knowledgeable About Green Plumbing
Call Sanitary Plumbing
All plumbers are not created equal when it comes to green plumbing technology. You want to make sure you engage professionals who stay up to date with the latest innovations and can bring you the right products that also save you money.
If you’re interested in making your property greener, we’d like to talk with you about it. Call Sanitary Plumbing today at 212-734-5000, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at your convenience.