British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Water Conservation

Water Conservation

With water metering becoming more widespread, rising water charges and hosepipe bans threatening, water conservation has become a key business priority for parks up and down the country. It also represents another excellent opportunity to reduce utility bills.

It is a good idea to take a step-by-step approach to water conservation and continually monitor the amount of water your park uses. How sophisticated an approach you use will depend on your circumstances; some large parks use computer-controlled systems linked to zoned meters, other sites rely on their utility bills to check usage. As with energy use, it is a good idea to cross-check water consumption against occupancy, to assess your park’s water efficiency. Effective monitoring will not only tell you how well you are doing, but will also alert you to any leaks (which can be very costly).

Next check where most water is used on your park and work out how best to reduce usage. According to advice agency Envirowise, a commercial business can save an average of 40% of its water use by making simple, low cost changes to taps, toilets, showers, urinals and the like (see below for some ideas). Beyond this you can investigate more complex ‘grey water’ systems that collect and recycle waste water. Water conservation also involves asking people to play their part, so it is vital to involve staff and guests and give them a lot of support and encouragement to ‘turn off’ their water consumption.

things to try header

General:

  • Have a water conservation policy in place which gives you targets to aim for.
  • Monitor water use.
  • Appoint a water conservation ‘champion’ or team.
  • Give staff water conservation training and awareness raising sessions.
  • Give staff opportunities to make suggestions for water conservation improvements.
  • Put up water conservation advice and information notices – especially in washrooms and in caravans.
  • Run a ‘turn-it-off’ campaign with guests and residents.

Water-saving devices:

  • Ensure no dripping taps.
  • Install self-closing taps/low flow taps.
  • Install water saving devices in urinals (e.g. motion sensors/timers).
  • Install water-saving measures in lavatories (e.g. low-flush/dual cisterns/hippo bags etc).
  • Try water-less urinals.
  • Install water-efficient clothes washing machines, dishwashers etc. (Eco-label rating A or B).
  • Install ‘grey water’ water recycling system(s).
  • Implement water saving measures in swimming pools (e.g. re-circulate back wash).

Horticultural/grounds:

  • Practice spot watering.
  • Use soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system.
  • Use mulch to reduce moisture loss.
  • Don’t water during mid-day heat.
  • Use drought-tolerant species in planting schemes (for more information on this try the Royal Hoticultural Society’s webpage www.rhs.org.uk).
  • Install a rainwater collection system (e.g. water butts, or more complex collection systems) to supply water for horticultural use.
  • Implement other water conservation measures (e.g. vans washed with buckets of water not hoses).

More information:

  • Work with your water supplier – they should be in a position to help you carry out a water use audit and advise you on ways to monitor and reduce use.
  • Waterwise works to help the UK conserve water. The group’s website (www.waterwise.org.uk/save-water/) is full of useful information.
  • Click here for an in depth article on water conservation, complete with examples of what parks are doing