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Water use


An average museum can use a significant amount of water during a single day and efforts to conserve water and to use it efficiently can dramatically improve the environmental performance of the building and save money. Water is becoming a scarce resource in parts of the UK and across the world.  While the amount of water used and the solutions and improvements available will depend on the museum itself and its unique circumstances, there are several options that would be suitable to improve the water usage of most museums.

Ways to reduce water use

  • Rain water harvesting: this is the active collection and distribution of rain water which, rather than going to the sewage system, can be used in every day operations. Typically this is done by funneling rainwater which falls onto the roof, into a reservoir fitted with a filtration device. Once the water has been filtered it can be used for grounds/garden maintenance, bathroom use, washing clothes etc, although it is not recommended that the water is used for drinking or cooking. More information can be found here: Rainwater Harvesting in the UK | The Renewable Energy Hub


  • Grey water recycling: “Grey water” is the wastewater from showers, baths sinks, washing machines and other appliances which can be recycled using a specific filtration system which can be installed. More information can be found here: Greywater Recycling - TheGreenAge


  • Pressure Reduction Valves: Installation of pressure reduction valves on pipes automatically regulate the water pressure of the mains water that comes through to provide a lower, more functional pressure for distribution.


  • Low flow plumbing fixtures: technological improvements in plumbing fixtures to operate using a lower flow rate or smaller flush quantity are widely available. These include taps, toilets and showers.


  • Replacing broken machines: while it isn’t usually the most environmentally friendly option to replace a fixture where repair is possible, sometimes it is inevitable. When a machine, appliance or fixture that uses water is broken and requires replacing it is worth considering doing so with an option that uses water in a smarter way or can be fitted with water saving technology such as dual flush toilets. More information can be found here: What are the Top Water-Saving Fixtures I Need in My Home? | Direct Energy