Tapping on technology to save water

PUB awards 28 for ‘exemplary’ performance in water efficiency
Robin Choo Today Online 25 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE — At Asia Square Tower 1, which opened in November 2011, using water efficiently is not left to chance.

All 83 toilets in the building are fitted with water meters — the first building in Singapore with this feature — including major water usage areas. A leak detection system provides early warning of possible water leakage. Data collected by these systems are sent to the building’s Integrated Building Management System which is monitored 24 hours daily. Problems raised by the system are investigated by technicians immediately.

The building is among the eight recipients of the Gold certification under PUB’s Water Efficient Building (WEB) certification, in recognition of their “exemplary performance” in water efficiency. Along with 20 Silver recipients, they received their certificates from Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs today (Sept 25).

Asia Square Tower 1 also recycles approximately 5,000 litres of condensate water produced from the air-conditioning system, which is used for irrigation, car park washing and the flushing of toilets. The various measures means that 90 million litres of water — which can fill about 20 Olympic-size pools — can be saved annually.

Sustainability Manager of Asia Square Tower 1 Philip Chan said: “I think (what is) more important is not the tangible savings, but the intangible savings… so that Singapore will be self-sufficient in water (consumption).”

Introduced in 2004, the WEB certification was launched with just Basic Certification to encourage businesses, industries, schools and buildings from the non-domestic sector to incorporate water efficient measures in the premises and day-today operations.

Gold and Silver tiers were added last year to recognise the efforts of water users who implement water efficiency management systems and are the top 10 and 25 per cent performers in water efficiency in their respective industries.

Another Gold certification recipient, Singapore Epson Industrial (Plating Division), reported a 55 per cent water recycling rate, and S$600,000 to S$700,000, which amounts to about 8 per cent, savings on factory expenses annually. In 2011, the firm developed an innovative Membrane Chemical Recycling System that “substantially” improved water recycling rate, up from 30 per cent in 2010. The company deals in electroplating production, which requires huge amount of water.

Singapore Epson Senior General Manager Fang Shunong said: “We plan to expand our waste water treatment facility and target a 70 to 80 per cent water recycling rate over the next two to three years.”

Four new sectors were included in this year’s certification – pharmaceuticals, tertiary institutions, data centres and hospitals, an indication that more non-domestic water users are implementing water efficiency measures.

Firm buoyed by award for water efficiency
Samantha Boh The Straits Times AsiaOne 28 Sep 14;

IT TOOK Singapore Epson Industrial years of research and $400,000 to create its very own water recycling system.

The effort, which included repeated trials and failures, turned out to be money and time well spent. Since its inception in 2011, the firm's new recycling system has nearly doubled its rate of waste water recycling at its plating division to 55 per cent. This amounts to 8,000 cubic metres of water - equivalent to three Olympic-sized swimming pools - and around $650,000 in savings each year.

For its exemplary performance in water efficiency, the company's plating division was yesterday awarded the Gold Water Efficient Building Certification by national water agency PUB.

Among the seven other recipients of the award were Asia Square Tower 1, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Riverside Secondary School. A further 20 organisations were awarded the silver certification at the presentation ceremony.

This year, four new sectors - pharmaceuticals, tertiary institutions, data centres and hospitals - were included.

Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, who presented the awards, said that water management should be seen as a responsibility and not a chore. "I would like to urge all sectors to see water management not as a task, not as a chore and not as a backroom function, but as an opportunity, as a competitive advantage and as a responsible action."

The certification, introduced in 2004, measures organisations based on a water efficiency index. The Gold Certification is awarded to the top 10 per cent of water savers in each sector, and silver to the top 25 per cent. Both certifications are valid for three years. There is also a basic certification, which has been given to over 2,600 organisations.

Dr Fang Shunong, senior general manager at Singapore Epson, said he is glad the company's efforts have been recognised, and it is determined to do more. "The aim is to be recycling 70 per cent of our waste water in two to three years," he said. To raise awareness of water recycling and reuse, PUB has added a half-day course on the topic to its water efficiency manager course, which is jointly organised with Singapore Polytechnic for building management staff.
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