WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities
Introduction to Commercial Kitchen
In restaurants, water use in the kitchen can account for nearly 50 percent of the facil-
ity’s total water use. Several other commercial and institutional sectors, including
hospitals, offices, schools, and hotels, also have substantial kitchen water use that
accounts for as much as 10 to 15 percent of the facility’s total water use.
shows the percentage of facility water use that is attributed to kitchen equipment for
various commercial facility types.
Figure 4-1. Water Use Attributed to Commercial Kitchen Equipment
The type and water use of commercial kitchen equipment will vary depending upon
the scope and scale of the kitchen’s operations. A kitchen in an office building, for
example, may only have a kitchen faucet and a small undercounter dishwasher.
Commercial-style kitchens found in food service establishments, such as standalone
and hotel restaurants or hospital and school cafeterias, on the other hand, may use
water in almost every aspect of their operation, from food preparation to dish clean-
ing. These types of kitchens may also have much larger and more water-intensive
commercial kitchen equipment.
In most commercial kitchens, the commercial dishwasher and pre-rinse spray valve
account for over two-thirds of the water use.
However, the presence of a sluice
trough food disposal system or boiler-based food preparation equipment, such as
combination ovens, steam kettles, and steam cookers, can dwarf this water use.
Fisher, Don. Food Service Technology Center. 2006. “Energy &Water Savings in Commercial Food Service.”
Created from analyzing data in: Schultz Communications. July 1999.
A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Water Users.
for the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.
Dziegielewski, Benedykt, et al. American Water Works Association (AWWA)
and AWWA Research Foundation. 2000.
Commercial and Institutional End Uses of Water
East Bay Municipal Utility District. 2008.
WaterSmart Guidebook: A Water-
Use Efficiency Plan Review Guide for New Businesses
Helping Businesses Manage Water Use—A Guide for Water Utilities
Alliance for Water Efficiency. Commercial Dishwashing Introduction.