Caterers and businesses that have a catering facility can take major steps to reduce their overall water use.
How you operate your catering facilities can have a significant impact on water use. For example, good forward planning can mean that frozen food is defrosted naturally, rather than rapidly using water.
Excessive water use can often be the result of habit. One such habit is to leave a tap running when cleaning and rinsing. A large tap can have a flow of up to 40 litres a minute. There are a number of steps your business can take to reduce this water use including:
- increasing the awareness of the catering manager or contractor and staff to the amount of water they are using
- fitting spray heads and flow restrictors to reduce the maximum flow
- installing automatic shut-off taps
- using trigger-operated spray guns
See how to reduce water use from taps.
Of all the appliances your business may use in its catering facility, dish and glasswashers can be the most wasteful. To minimise water use from these appliances, you should:
- only use washers when they are fully loaded
- optimise the cycle times of your machines by consulting the instructions
- consider more water efficient machinery when you need to replace old equipment
Keeping catering equipment up to date and in good working order can have a positive knock-on effect on water efficiency. To make water savings you could:
- link a solenoid-operated valve to a machine - this will ensure water is only used when the machine is in use
- review your steamer operations
- alter the flow of water over authentic wok and noodle cookers
- check the overflow on ice machines
- reduce the flow rate of water to automatic potato peelers
Food waste disposal channels
In some catering facilities, waste food is scraped into a channel with constantly flowing water. You could make water savings by considering:
- turning the water on and off manually or via an infrared sensor
- not using multiple disposal channels
- evaluating alternative ways of disposing of food such as bins or a mesh basket over a sink
Tax breaks for water efficient equipment
Some of the technologies your business could employ to reduce the amount of water it uses in its catering facilities may be eligible for tax allowances under the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme - see first-year allowances for water efficient technologies.