Alice La Pierre Berkeley June 10, 2015

California is dealing with a historic drought, and the Governor has set mandates for water reduction. The City of Berkeley has developed a program to educate managers and staff on methods for reducing water consumption. Aside from some changes to the infrastructure, our basic messaging that is common to all staff is "Think Before You Touch The Tap." We piloted decals that are affixed to the restroom mirrors, instructing people how to properly wash hands with the supplied foaming soap, before running water over their hands (1. Apply soap; 2. Scrub; 3. Rinse). The decal also has a specific number for people to call to report any water leaks.

There has been zero resistance to this methodology, and we have also messaged this with our Health Department, who are in agreement with this, for several reasons: 1. Touching the faucet handle with unclean hands spreads the germs, so waiting until they are soaped up makes more sense from a health standpoint; 2. Pre-wetting the hands creates a film of water on the hands, so the liquid or foaming soap (that's all we have here) doesn't come into direct contact with the skin immediately, and doesn't work into all the creases to remove germs.

We are now waiting for water bills to come in to see how effective this has been. We are also rolling this out at our Corporation Yard, and have had no negative comments or expressed unwillingness to comply for the past month that this has been in place.

Alice La Pierre
City of Berkeley
United States