When it comes to water efficiency, which refers to long-term water use reduction, what’s happening in the U.S. is also happening in stadiums around the world. They are eagerly searching and fortunately finding ways to reduce water consumption.
However, this can be tough for many stadium owners and managers. After all, the fans come to see a beautiful green playing field for their team, requiring vast amounts of water. Foodservice operators expect there to be plenty of water for cooking, allowing them to carry out their business activities. And of course, thousands of fans will be using the restrooms, washing hands and flushing toilets.
Nevertheless, what got many U.S. stadium owners and managers on the water efficiency bandwagon, was the five-year drought that recently ended in California.
Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA and Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, CA, are two of the largest parks in the world, consuming millions of gallons of water every year. This is just no longer sustainable in California or most any area the world.
However, these staggering amounts of water can be reduced and are being reduced. In fact, they have been so successful in California, that other stadiums around the world have followed their lead and adopted many of the same water reducing strategies.
We should add, however, they have taken many water reducing steps. “There is no one single bullet at any sports venue to address water conservation by itself, “ says Allen Hershkowitz, former director of the Green Sports Alliance. “It is a series of smart adjustments.”
So What are Some of These Smart Adjustments?
To begin the process, stadium owners are tracking water consumption more consistently to know how much water they are currently using and how much it is costing. These stats become their benchmark for moving forward, evaluating the effectiveness of their water reduction strategies.
As to some of the actual steps they are taking, here are but a few:
• Some stadiums are installing off-the-shelf products such aerators, to reduce the amount of water released by faucets
• Traditional toilets are being replaced with high-efficiency toilets that use about 1.25 gallons of water per flush
• Sensor-controlled faucets and restroom fixtures are helping to reduce consumption
• Underground sensors are being installed that transmit the field’s moisture level so it can be determined more precisely when fields need irrigation
• Greywater and recycled water systems are being installed. Greywater can be used for plant irrigation, helping to reduce consumption significantly; at the Levi’s Stadium, more than 85 percent of the water used in the stadium is now grey or recycled. The stadium is “dual-plumbed,” with grey and recyclable water flowing into storage tanks and non-recyclable water delivered to sewers
• At stadiums used for hockey, dehumidifiers are being installed. These help reduce ice melt and some arenas are also installing reverse-osmosis filtration systems to remove minerals from water; this creates harder ice for the rinks, reducing the amount of water needed to make the ice.
Another strategy is the installation of waterless urinals. There are several reasons for this. Yes, each urinal can save as much as 30,000 gallons of water per year.
But, another benefit is the fact that these no-water urinals typically cost less to purchase and less to install. That’s because there is no need to plumb the fixture for water and there are no flush handles, manual or sensor-controlled, to purchase or repair.
For more information on waterless urinals and ways to reduce water consumption, contact a Waterless Co representative at 800-244-6364.