Sustainable Construction Amidst the Freshwater Shortage Crisis

A freshwater shortage crisis is gripping not only the United States but also the rest of the planet. News headlines feature distressing images of rivers like the Colorado drying up, while vast regions of the Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast have endured severe droughts for years. In such a situation it is more important than ever before to learn about eco friendly construction techniques. Such techniques can help reduce your business’s reliance on freshwater, all while safeguarding your financial bottom line.

Utilize Graywater and Non-Sewage Sources

When freshwater for drinking becomes scarce, it is good to explore alternative water sources for construction. Graywater, also known as non-sewage wastewater, presents a valuable option. Graywater comprises any water drained from a home that hasn’t come into contact with toilets. Where local regulations permit, graywater usage reduces water consumption and eases the burden on sewage systems.

Benefits of Graywater

Multiple Applications

Graywater can be employed for landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, and other non-potable uses, as it is relatively clean.

Cost Savings

Despite requiring additional plumbing, graywater systems pay for themselves over time through the reduction in water bills.

Another natural resource for non-drinking water is rainwater. On-site rainwater collection can serve purposes like cleaning and dust control.

Responsible Resource Management

Construction generates substantial waste, which, when it enters freshwater sources, can harm the environment. It is your business’s responsibility, in accordance with federal and state regulations, to minimize waste and ensure safe disposal to protect both your workforce and local water supplies.

Preventing Resource Loss

Runoff Control

Prevent materials from entering drainage systems, particularly sand and cement, which can pollute water sources. Cover drains near construction sites to reduce runoff.

Erosion Control

Implement erosion control measures such as erosion control blankets, sedimentation ponds, and silt fences.

Employee Training

Train your staff on more things than just operating heavy equipment. They should know to pick up debris, control erosion and sedimentation, maintain used equipment, and clean streets around the construction site. Well trained workers safeguard the environment and prevent potential resource losses.

Invest in Equipment Upgrades

Consider equipment upgrades designed to reduce water usage on construction sites. Modular washing plants, for example, have a smaller footprint, lower setup costs, and place less energy demands on water pumps.

Water Tracking and Management

Water Tracking Systems

Investing in water tracking systems is a wise move. Contractors can assess potential water needs before starting work, identify areas with high sediment runoff risk, and prevent pollution incidents. Real-time data on water usage helps identify areas for improvement, ultimately saving on water consumption and cleanup costs.

Balancing construction business operations with environmental responsibility may seem challenging but it is how we can we can build a sustainable future even in the face of water scarcity.

As a construction company owner, you hold a unique position to witness the impact of your efforts on the communities you serve. So, you might as well set an example for other businesses instead of trying to ride the wave when it is too late.