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Water Day 2021: savings and safety

19/03/2021

March 22 is the International Water Day and this year’s theme is “the value of water”: how important is water for your home and family life, your well-being, and the environment? The events of this past year have shown us, among other things, that we are all interconnected and that local choices have an effect on the rest of the world. This awareness makes us reflect on the importance of implementing effective eco-friendly policies and taking the necessary precautions to protect water. The recovery phase should focus on the green economy, that allows economic growth and an increase in environmental quality, making processes more efficient, reducing waste and also costs for companies and families. We see positive signs in this direction, not least the proposed Water Bonus in Italy or the policies in favor of environmental protection of the European community, but there is still a lot to do … and in Idral we want to help protect this important resource.


Water consumption in commercial and public spaces

In facilities open to the public, the water consumption can represent 50% more than domestic use. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of eco-friendly measures for the recovery of businesses. In these environments, water consumption can reach 200 liters per day per person and in some specific cases such as hospitals, swimming pools, sports centers, etc. can even exceed 500 liters per day per person. In these environments the behavior of users is different than at home as they are not paying for it. Besides, we must add that the cost of water is growing due to the rise in consumption and the increase in distribution costs, becoming a critical issue for the management of commercial and public facilities. To understand the impact of water consumption, let’s compare the consumption among a traditional, an electronic and a self-closing tap:

Fortunately, thanks to the advances in taps and sanitary ware design, the amount of water used can be significantly reduced compared to the past. The use of modern technologies such as infrared valves, self-closing taps, low consumption wc, flow reducers,… can mean an enormous reduction in the environmental impact of a building, as well as a reduction in water costs.

Measures to reduce water waste in public restrooms

In large spaces open to the public where the use of bathrooms has a high frequency, it is necessary to take the appropriate measures to increase energy savings, replacing obsolete products with low-consumption solutions, which in the medium term represent saving water and costs, benefiting the environment, users and businesses. Here are some alternatives to traditional products:

  • Electronic taps: while traditional taps consume 12 liters per minute, the Idral taps with sensor consume 6 liters or less and the infrared valve is closed automatically, reducing waste and preventing possible user negligence. Furthermore, infrared sensors require very little energy to function.
  • Self-closing taps: many of Idral taps have a flow rate of 6 liters per minute and there are products, such as the stainless steel series, which have a lower consumption (5 liters per minute). Furthermore, it is possible to adjust the flow rate in the factory according to specific needs. The timed system switches off automatically after about 16 seconds of flow. The anti-vandal system prevents the mixer or tap from running continuously.
  • Low-consumption toilets and urinals: Replacing older toilets with low-consumption systems (with a maximum flushing volume of 6 liters) is very effective to reduce waste and costs. Some of our newer toilets, such as the high efficiency, use only 5 liters. Furthermore, facilities open to the public can achieve additional savings by installing efficient urinals with infrared control. Replacing toilets and urinals allows a 20% reduction in water consumption per toilet.
  • Self-closing shower panels and Solar Showers: for sports facilities and gyms, Idral shower panels are an excellent solution to keep water consumption under control, since they are equipped with a self-closing tap that stops after 15 sec. at 3 bar (reducible) and with flow limiter 8 l / min. For swimming pools and outdoor parks, Idral solar showers are an ideal solution, because in addition to the self-closing taps, they have a solar water heating system that allow having hot water without any kind of energy consumption.

The future of water saving and safety is digitalization

Technology can go a long way in reducing water waste, as digitization in a public bathroom can help users, facility managers and maintenance staff. Digitization is a key component to generate large amounts of valuable data (big data) for decision support and for improving efficiency, with a positive impact on water quality, quantity and safety, particularly through the development of intelligent sensors, capable of generating advanced analysis data. At Idral we are working on new digital solutions, which not only allow to reduce water waste, but also make water safer, responding to needs of reducing the risk of legionella and of cross-contamination in general.

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