Enware Australia manufactures and supplies a comprehensive range of water conservation, safety and hygiene-oriented products for hospitals, healthcare and food service environments.
Hospitality providers face substantial challenges in engineering innovative ways to regulate water consumption without impacting on the functionality of their systems or increasing health and safety risks.
A keen supporter of Australia’s WELS water conservation initiatives, Enware demonstrated the savings possible in commercial and institutional kitchens throughout Australia when it supplied Woolworths with a total of 1668 FS729 Ultra Rinse food service guns designed to save water and energy.
Based on industry standard average use per day, Enware calculates these devices will save more than 25 million litres of water a year as well as nearly $1.75 million in energy costs.
Enware Australia Managing Director Paul Degnan says solutions for issues such as water conservation and hot water energy consumption in the industrial or commercial context need to be approached on a case-by-case basis.
He adds that major advances in water and energy conservation are already possible by selective and site-appropriate uses of existing good technologies.
Solutions include thermostatic mixing valves, electronic water monitoring systems, electronic and mechanical automatic water regulation, flow control technology and hands-free tapware that reduces water use and helps prevent cross contamination from the hands.
Enware is particularly active in the hospitality and food service markets, which are among the major water users in Australia.
Green Building initiatives
Heavily influenced by Green Building targets, the building industry has expressed interest in adopting hospitality facilities to further curtail their water usage and became even more water-efficient.
Requests have been made for fixtures and outlets that help conserve greater amounts of water than what may be practical or clinically proven as acceptable with targets around 4L/m, says Enware Group Technical and Innovation Manager Tim Fisher.
Such blanket targets may be at odds with good sanitation practices, which contribute significantly to higher water consumption. Research published by health authorities, for example shows that hand washing has been proven as the most important and basic sanitisation technique to prevent the spread of infection.
The solution can be to simply mandate minimum flow rates at hand washing fixtures in an effort to be seen to be water-efficient.
Thermostatic mixing valves
Thermostatic mixing valves or TMVs are the preferred source of delivering controlled temperature heated water to fixtures within hospitality facilities where they both save energy and prevent burn accidents.
TMVs as mechanical devices have a minimum flow rate of 4 L/m at which they must comply with AS4032.1 – 2005. This value becomes the benchmark for minimum flow rate settings at fixture outlets where stable temperature warm water is required to be delivered.
Greater levels of water efficiency can be significantly advanced by technology such as electronic or self closing tapware that controls the time a fixture runs without the need for manual intervention to shut off the supply.
This type of water saving technology has a significant impact on water usage, which it achieves in ways other than by simply reducing flow rates.
Initiatives by Enware include a new generation of touch-activated, self closing tapware to optimise water savings and hygiene in public as well as private food and hospitality applications.
Key features of Enmatic touch-activated time flow taps
- Comply with mandatory WELS water conservation and labelling laws
- Piezo touch control for easy use by children, older people, people with disabilities as well as kitchen and service staff
- Electronically controlled for accurate flow times
- Anti-vandal design to ensure they can’t be held open
- Ruggedly constructed on a full brass base
- Adjustable flow time of cold or premixed water to suit target application needs
The touch-activated tapware finds application in hotels, hospitality venues, kitchens, shopping centres, transport terminals, government facilities and food service premises that are required to have a dedicated hand wash basin.
In addition to its market-leading Aquablend series of thermostatic mixing valves, Enware also provides the Smart Flow TMV monitoring system as a risk management tool for the performance and maintenance of Aquablend TMVs.
The networked system constantly monitors the Aquablend TMVs electronically through a calibrated temperature probe installed into the unit providing engineering personnel with a constant temperature readout and performance status report.
Mr Fisher says that safety and hygiene are critical factors for determining the optimum water management systems for particular buildings.
He adds that solutions for particular facilities should consider a range of factors including flow rates, time control, application need and actual number of usages within a day. This holistic approach will provide far greater efficiency gains.