Water Conservation in a Food Establishment

Food service facility operators use a lot of water for washing, food preparation and equipment cleaning. Most operators never stop to think how much water is used in the daily operation of their food service establishment or how much is wasted.

Because water is a limited resource we must take steps to ensure that an adequate and safe supply is available. Water conservation is not only cost effective to protect our water resources, but is required in certain phases of a drought. Become aware of how much water is used in your establishment on a daily basis. Awareness is the first step to a successful conservation program.
  • Serve water only when the customer requests it
  • Repair all leaks - the slow drip in your sinks can waste up to 7 gallons of water per day.
  • Leaks inside a toilet tank can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. Toilet leaks can be easily detected by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the color appears in the bowl (without flushing), the toilet is leaking.
  • When renovating restrooms, install low consumption toilets.
  • For conventional toilets, place a weighted plastic gallon jug in the tank to displace and save an equal amount of water with each flush.
  • Paved surfaces should be washed only at a minimum rate necessary for sanitation and safety, remembering to protect any nearby streams from contamination.
  • Discontinue the practice of thawing under cold running water. There are three other methods of thawing that can be used in place of cold running water.
    • Thaw in a refrigeration unit operating at 45°F or less.
    • Thaw as a part of the cooking process.
    • Thaw food items using a microwave oven. These must be immediately cooked once thawing is complete.
  • Store ice cream scoops and similar dispensing utensils directly in the food container (with handle up) instead of in a dipper well that requires continuous flow of water.
  • Operate your dishwasher only when you have a full rack. Presoak those hard to clean dishes to avoid sending them through the dishwasher twice.