SINGAPORE: Starting next year, commercial water equipment and water closet (WC) flush valves that are supplied and sold in Singapore will have to meet minimum efficiency requirements.
In his speech in Parliament on Thursday (Mar 4), Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan noted that PUB will work with the non-domestic sector to increase its water efficiency, as the sector is projected to account for a major part of total water demand by 2060.
One way to address this is by introducing mandatory minimum water efficiency requirements for three types of commercial equipment - washer extractors, dishwashers and high-pressure washers, he said.
Mr Tan also noted that from January 2022, the Mandatory Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MWELS) will be extended to WC flush valves that are used in toilets in premises like shopping malls and offices. As a start, only those with a minimum two-tick efficiency rating can be sold, he said.
“Both schemes are expected to save about 0.72 million gallons of water per day, equivalent to 480 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water annually.”
PUB’s new minimum water efficiency requirements apply to WC flush valves up to 4L per flush - the equivalent to a minimum two-tick rating under MWELS, commercial dishwashers up to 2.4L per rack, washer extractors up to 8L per kg and high-pressure washers up to 11L per minute, it said in a press release.
Commercial dishwashers, washer extractors and high-pressure washers are commonly used by hotels, hospitals, F&B outlets, laundromats and cleaning companies, which consume a significant amount of water daily, said PUB. WC flush valves are typically used in toilets with high usage, such as in schools, shopping malls and hawker centres.
To help boost early adoption of water-efficient equipment, businesses with monthly water consumption of at least 1,000 cubic metres can apply for a PUB fund to purchase water-efficient equipment. This will allow them to receive subsidies of up to S$300,000 or up to 50 per cent of installation cost from now until December this year.
This will gradually phase out the use of less water-efficient water fittings and commercial equipment, and motivate suppliers to introduce more water-efficient models into the market, said PUB.
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WATER AND COST SAVINGS
Singapore currently consumes about 430 million gallons of water a day, and this is expected to nearly double by 2060. The non-domestic sector accounts for more than half of the demand today.
Based on market research, more than 70 per cent of commercial dishwashers, washer extractors and high-pressure washer models available on the market today already meet the minimum water efficiency requirements, PUB said. Most of them are also cheaper than the less water-efficient models.
By the end of this year, there will also be a “sizeable pool” of WC flush valve models – about 30 per cent – that are more water-efficient, said PUB. These flush valve models have a minimum two-tick rating under MWELS.
“Managing water demand is critical for Singapore’s long-term water sustainability and we continuously look into ways to improve water efficiency in the non-domestic sector,” said Mr Ridzuan Ismail, who is director of PUB’s water supply (network) department.
“PUB has consulted the industry extensively on these mandatory requirements and ascertained that they have minimal impact in terms of compliance costs but are expected to yield substantial water and ultimately cost savings for businesses.”