The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has teamed with Great Western Institute and Environmental Dimensions to expand its commercial water audit program through demonstration audits.
This is the first step in the implementation of the recently-adopted 2008 Water Conservation Plan. Information collected from this pilot project will be used to expand the audit program into other local businesses in 2009.
Water conservation programs have been in place since 1995 and, in concert with community efforts, have resulted in significant water savings to the district of up to 17 percent per year. The expanded commercial audit program is expected to provide further water savings for the commercial sector, including substantial energy and dollar savings.
The pilot program begins this week with five audits that will be used to develop the full program, expected to be implemented in the spring. Participants in the pilot program include: First Inn, JJ’s Riverwalk Restaurant, San Juan Motel, Junction Restaurant and Boss Hogg’s Restaurant.
A commercial audit is designed to help individual business owners understand their normal water use patterns and behaviors such that water use efficiencies can be developed to better manage indoor and outdoor water use. During the audit, showers, toilets, and faucets are checked for leaks (and in some cases, leaks are repaired) and their flow rates are measured. Motel laundry, pool facilities and ice machines are examined, and where appropriate, showerheads and faucet aerators are replaced with low flow fittings. In addition, outdoor irrigation controller programming is checked.
The results of the audit will be provided to the business owner with recommendations for adjustments, corrections, and anticipated water, energy, and dollar savings. In addition, the business owner will receive educational materials and a PAWSD certification of water efficiency once improvements have been made. This certificate can serve as a mechanism for “green” business promotion.
Information on the complete commercial audit program will be available on the PAWSD Web site in early 2009. Commercial customers who wish to participate next spring may contact the PAWSD office at 731-2691.