Water Conservation: Dishwashers

Despite the number of options available for reducing water costs associated with dishwashing, the drawback remains that there has been little research in terms of total life-cycle costs. “Usage can very day by day,” says Chris Moyer, manager of Conserve.restaurant.org, the National Restaurant Association’s sustainable information resource.

The site, by the way, is an incredible resource of education and links for water saving information, with some state-specific information   According to Richard Young, director of education at the Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif., one way to further encourage cost savings associated with dishwashers is to properly maintain them through monitoring overflow, leveling and curtains. Overflow occurs when a high-temperature dishmachine accidentally releases a little water out all the time, due to a leak.   In addition, there needs to be proper adjustment of the rinse bypass drain to ensure that water is adequately replenished during operation. One that has “gone out of whack,” Young says, will cause excessive rinse water to drain from the system, requiring more fresh water to replace it.   Proper calibration will also minimize water consumption, according to the report published by the FSTC. The rinse cycle time should be set to manufacturers’ recommendations, with rinse pressure at what is typically 20 psi, the report says. Rinse nozzles also need to be properly maintained because worn ones due to corrosion have larger openings that result in greater water use during the rinse cycle.   Furthermore, curtains that are used to keep water inside the machine should be fitted properly, and not missing or worn out, Young says.   Otherwise, excess leakage will lead to water waste, and the machine will have to work harder to keep up.   

 

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