Simple and practical solutions to save water

Friday August 13, 2010 The Star

Simple and practical solutions

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/8/13/north/6848557&sec=north 

SIMPLE water-saving fittings can be very be effective in cutting down wastage.

Water Watch Penang (WWP) president Prof Dr Chan Ngai Weng said a number of water-saving fittings were suitable to be installed in large buildings everywhere to conserve water.

“Whether the building concerned is a hotel, factory or college, the water-saving fittings are more or less the same.

“The water balance regulator, for instance, is capable of saving 15%-20% of water usage just by installation and does not at all affect the comfort of hotel guests or users,” he said.

Water recycling: A filepic of N-Park Condominium resident Lim Yee Ling using harvested rainwater to wash her hands.

The regulators, he explained, were installed inside water pipes to ensure that the water pressure of each floor was the same.

“In any tall building, the water pressure of the bottom floors are very high compared with that on the top floors.

“This is just gravity at work as water tanks are normally stored at the top of the buildings.

“You’ll find that on the bottom floor, the water gushes out very strongly,” said Dr Chan, who is also a Universiti Sains Malaysia School of Humanities lecturer.

“Hotels are reluctant to install these regulators because they think this will mean low water pressure and inconvenience guest.

“This is not the case. The pressure can be adjusted to the hotel’s liking,” he said, adding that the system had been implemented in a government university.

Dr Chan said another device that could save water consumption was a sprinkler system equipped with sensors.

“Most sprinklers are timed, so you sometimes see them on even when it’s raining.

“Sometimes, people are put in charge of turning them off when this happens, but this doesn’t always work out,” he added.

He said the sensor system was cost-effective and would help conserve the environment.

“Rainwater harvesting systems are also a good alternative for big buildings.

“For example, the 900-unit N-Park Condominium complex (in Batu Uban) has a system that recycles rainwater for gardening and car washing and some units have even connected it to the flush system,” he said.

Dr Chan commended many hotels for implementing the dual-flush system and urged the operators of all public toilets to install push taps.

“Normally, every time you flush the toilet, it’s nine litres of water down the bowl.

“With the dual-flush system, it’s just three litres for a half-flush and six litres for a full flush as the system uses greater water pressure but conserves water,” he said.

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