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Contact Denver Water for a free, professionally installed pre-rinse spray valve for your restaurant. Call 303-893-2444 for more information.

Signs and checklists

Post posters in your food-preparation and dishwashing areas to encourage employees to conserve water. Download the signs for free (PDF format).

  • Use a food-service checklist, which includes information about conserving water in restaurants. Download the English and Spanish checklists for free.

Refrigeration Equipment

  • Use energy-efficient flake or nugget machines instead of cube ice machines. Water savings potential: 38,000 gallons per year; energy savings potential:  2,500 kilowatt-hours per year.
  • Defrost food in the refrigerator instead of under running water. Water savings potential: 65,700 gallons per year.

Cooking and Food Service Equipment

  • Use boilerless steamers that consume three gallons per hour or less. Water savings potential: 162,000 gallons per year; energy savings potential: 26,000 kwh per year.
  • Collect the condensate from steam in boiler-type steam kettles with an insulated line to help the water retain heat. Reuse the water for boiling. Water savings potential: 90,400 gallons per year.
  • Use no more than 15 gallons of water in combination ovens, which are used to keep food from drying out while baking. Water savings potential: 120,000 gallons per year; energy savings potential: 12,500 kwh per year.
  • Install an in-line restrictor on the supply line to dipper wells to reduce flow to less than 0.3 gallons per minute. Water savings potential: 236,520 gallons per year.
  • Use pasta cookers that have a simmer mode and automatic overflow controls.

Dishwashing Operations

  • Use 0.065 gallons-per-minute pre-rinse spray valves to rinse dishes.
  • Install a water-saver kit on grinders or use strainer baskets in place of garbage disposers. Water savings potential: 375,000 gallons per year; energy savings potential: 3,300 kwh per year.
  • Use dishwasher equipment that meets efficiency standards set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency and install steam doors to reduce evaporation. Water savings potential: 450,000 gallons per year.
  • Install dishwashers that save water from the last wash to use in the next load (do not use fill-and-dump machines).
  • Use dishwashers and C-line conveyors with electronic sensors, door switches, etc., to stop water flowing when they’re not washing.
  • Replace worn and missing water jets on dishwashers.


  • Use hoses with self-closing nozzles and limit flow to no more than five gallons per minute. Water savings potential: 290,000 gallons per year.
  • Sweep floors; do not hose them down with water. 
  • Use rubber squeegees to collect food residual from the floor before using a hose. 

Restrooms and Plumbing

  • Install WaterSense®-labeled ultra-high-efficiency toilets.
  • Install WaterSense®-labeled urinals that use 0.125 gallon per flush or less. 
  • Install showerheads with a 1.25-gallons-per-minute flow rate or less.
  • Install aerators on hand-washing sinks to reduce each sink’s flow to 1 gallon per minute or less.
  • Install aerators on kitchen, food service and mop sinks so they do not exceed a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.

Heating and Cooling

  • Eliminate single-pass (once-through) cooling water used in air compressors, etc. with the use of chillers, cooling towers, or air cooled equipment.
  • Minimize blow-down on cooling towers and boilers by using a conductivity controller.

Irrigation and Landscape

  • Follow Denver Water’s watering rules.
  • Do not exceed 18 gallons of water per square foot of irrigated turf areas.   


  • Include water efficiency in the company’s environmental policy statement.
  • Delegate water efficiency responsibilities.
  • Establish quantitative water efficiency goals and communicate those goals to employees.
  • Inspect for leaks regularly. 
  • Use a sub-meter and monitor for excessive water consumption or leaks.