Save your businesses money with these water conservation tips from CRD

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Using water appropriately and efficiently means lower water bills for you and defers the need to expand water and wastewater infrastructure, protects water quality, and reduces environmental impacts for the whole region. Additionally, efficient hot water use reduces energy bills which lowers a building’s greenhouse gas emissions. Learn about how you can impact water distribution and consumption at your business. 

Irrigation Impacts

Does your businesses use an irrigation system? The Water Conservation Bylaw watering schedules have recently changed, which may affect the way you use water.

  • The CRD has added a new allowable watering time to the Water Conservation Bylaw for timed/automatic irrigation systems only, from 12:01 to 10 a.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. on established watering days. 
  • The watering days are Wednesdays and Saturdays for even addresses, and Thursdays and Sundays for odd addresses. 
  • The new allowable water time for watering public, institutional or community playing fields is any day other than Wednesday. 
  • Golf fairways should follow the new watering schedule. Golf greens and tees cannot be watered on any day unless failure to water would result in loss of plant material. 

This new watering time was added because, in recent summers, the CRD water supply infrastructure has experienced challenges due to high, sudden demands because of region-wide irrigation system programs that all start at the same time. Particularly at 4 am, 5 am, and 6 am on lawn watering days, water demand can double with instantaneous increases that fall on the hour. High and sudden demands for water impact the system’s ability to maintain adequate flow, pressure, and high water quality standards. If everyone followed the best practices below, it would make a significant contribution to solving to the peak hour issue. 

How can you help?

  • The water supply infrastructure needs more water to flow between 12 am and 4 am. If possible, please program your businesses irrigation to start during this time window. 
  • Stagger your irrigation system start time off the top of the hour to reduce the instantaneous demand. Pick a random time like 2:23 am, 1:41 am, 3:12 am. By making a few simple changes to irrigation start times throughout the region can help the Capital Regional District (CRD) reduce this issue. 

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Once Through Cooling

Another way to save money for your business is switching out your once-through cooling system. Once-through cooling systems, also known as single-pass cooling systems, are expensive to operate and waste large amounts of potable drinking water. Starting on July 1, 2028, no person in the CRD shall use water from the Greater Victoria drinking water system in once-through cooling equipment unless the equipment is only operated in emergencies, or the person has obtained written authorization. 

Before the regulation goes into effect, businesses in the capital region can receive a rebate of up to $2,500 to replace once-through cooled condensers in a range of equipment, including industrial air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers and ice machines. There are a few replacement options for once through cooing systems, including air cooled equipment, closed-loop piping, or combining a looped system with a heat exchanger to reap both water and energy savings. Learn more about once through cooling on the CRD website.

Aerators and Audits

New aerators (the little piece on the end of the faucet) use less than two litres of water per minute, compared to 11 litres per minute on older faucets, and will dramatically reduce the amount of water a facility uses, while saving money and greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. The CRD is currently offering to come to any business facility or institution that uses water supplied by the CRD and assess the faucets on all hand wash sinks. If the faucet is not operating at the maximum water efficiency, we can replace it with a new low flow aerator at no cost.

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The CRD also offers free water use and efficiency assessments to targeted businesses in Greater Victoria and helps measure water usage and calculate return-on-investment of various measures to conserve water. CRD staff reach out to businesses and institutions within the targeted sector each year to offer the opportunity to participate. 

Using water efficiently and wisely not only helps the CRD water infrastructure it also helps your business’ bottom line. Check out the CRD’s website for more information on peak demands for water and watering schedules, information about once through cooling rebates, water use assessments and aerator replacements.