Dave Kupstas, general manager, and Rich Closs, service director, proudly display the Lakeview Grille’s Water PRO certificate.
The District’s Water Program for Restaurant Outreach (Water PRO) celebrated its first anniversary with the signing of the 200th restaurant, thanks to the Lakeview Grille at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club in Hillsborough County.
“More and more restaurant owners and managers are learning that participating in Water PRO is good for the environment as well as the bottom line,” said Amy Harroun, Water PRO coordinator. “Right now we have participating restaurants in all of the District’s 16 counties, and we hope to continue to see the number of members grow.”
Water PRO, which was launched in May 2008, is a free program that helps restaurants conserve water by educating staff and customers. As part of the program, the restaurant management agrees to serve water only upon request, display water conservation materials on tables, conduct self-audits and train staff.
The District supplies free educational materials to participating restaurants, including children’s coloring sheets, table materials and coasters. The District also provides the restaurants with self-audit checklists and educational workshops on additional ways to save water.
A restaurant uses an average of 5,800 gallons of water per day, which equals more than 2 million gallons of water per year. In 2001, the District conducted a water-use evaluation on a Largo restaurant and discovered it could save more than 1.5 million gallons of water a year by replacing spray nozzles with sink aerators, installing low-flow toilets and reducing the flow in dripper wells and continuous-flow faucets next to ice cream and butter scoop troughs. Water saved by these retrofits led to a savings of nearly $8,000 a year for the establishment.