WaterSense Case Study: National Park Hotel Cut Water Use by Almost 50 Percent Over 3 Years

Lodge reduces water consumption by 46% over 3 years, saving nearly $50,000 in annual water and sewer costs.

Project Summary

On a coastal strip of Olympic National Park in Forks, Washington, Kalaloch Lodge has worked to protect the surrounding ecosystem and reduce water and sewer costs by giving guests and employees a direct role in its water conservation efforts. Known for its lush vegetation and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Kalaloch Lodge has faced high and variable water costs, ranging between 20 and 35 cents per cubic foot. The lodge is owned by the U.S. National Park Service and has a concession contract that includes water-reduction metrics.

Between 2011 and 2014, Kalaloch Lodge reduced its water consumption by more than 46 percent, reaching its goal of 40 percent reduction in water use by 2020. This achievement was seven years ahead of schedule, due in part to a concerted effort with employee and guest education.

Kalaloch Lodge achieved these water savings by: replacing restroom and kitchen fixtures with high-efficiency models; implementing towel and linen reuse programs; serving water only upon request; and informing guests and employees how to do their part to save water. By involving guests and employees in its water conservation strategy, Kalaloch Lodge saved more than 1.37 million gallons of water annually.

Engaging and Encouraging Guests

Kalaloch Lodge’s in-room guest literature features the lodge’s “Water is Vital. Please Conserve” messaging, which it adapted for guests, associates, and National Park Service visitors. An educational tri-fold brochure in guest rooms highlights water conservation, Kalaloch Lodge water savings goals, and what guests can do to reduce water use during their stay. In guest bathrooms, a tag hanging from shower doors encourages guests to help reduce laundry water use by participating in the lodge’s towel reuse program and provides helpful hints for saving water when brushing teeth or bathing. A card on the vanity reminds guests to report leaks, and a linen reuse card on guest beds includes information about reusing linens.

Educating Employees Improves Efforts

At Kalaloch Lodge, employees undergo both general and departmentspecific environmental training. Targeting kitchen and housekeeping staff, these trainings: encourage employees to report leaks and be conscious of when they’re running water; provide an overview of Kalaloch Lodge’s water savings goals; and emphasize how employees can help. This includes education about the lodge’s high-efficiency fixtures, linen reuse program, and water served on request only, which reduced the amount of water served by approximately 50 percent.

To improve communication with employees, who represent a diverse range of languages and literacy levels, Kalaloch Lodge uses a large number of graphics in its messaging. The lodge provides updates on water and cost savings, along with accomplishments by department, which are a source of pride among employees.

Shortening Showers and Saving

In both guest cabins and employee housing, Kalaloch Lodge replaced all of its showerheads with WaterSense labeled models, bringing the flow rate down from 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) to 1.5 gpm. Understanding that saving water in the shower is largely driven by the user, Kalaloch Lodge encourages everyone on its property to reduce their personal water use through the five-minute shower challenge.

All rooms have a simple egg timer that counts out five minutes, along with an informational card challenging guests or employees living on the property to shower in five minutes or less. The cards also note that guests who meet the five-minute challenge use 60 percent less water than the average person. Some Kalaloch Lodge guests have even approached its front desk about purchasing the in-room timers, in hopes of bringing the challenge to their homes.

Connecting With Guests Online and Off

Because Kalaloch Lodge’s website and blogs are often the first point of contact with guests, the lodge uses these venues to highlight its environmental management system and ways that guests can help to save water. On Facebook, the lodge posts a “Sustainable Sunday” feature every week, and has monthly blog posts to educate guests and “Kalaloch fans” about its efforts to green the lodge.

Acknowledgements

WaterSense acknowledges Kalaloch Lodge Environmental, Health, Safety, Season and Interpretive Manager Alec Figure 1 shows Kalaloch Lodge’s water consumption by quarter, with Bartolai for providing information for water consumption decreasing between 2011 and 2014. this case study.

Learn More

To learn more about water efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings, visit the WaterSense website to access WaterSense at Work best management practices, tools, case studies, and more. Access the original EPA Publication.