SPR 2017

HVAC/P - HVAC and Plumbing Product News magazine - is the go-to resource for the latest products in the industry.

Issue link: https://hvacpproducts.epubxp.com/i/809409

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 38

B Y M I K E G I P S O N W ater is the lifeblood of human civilization. It's an indispensable natural resource that humans rely on for survival, to produce electricity and sustain agriculture, demands that only increase as populations expand. That's why the growing scarcity of water is a rising epidemic across the world. With a 33 percent increase in the average cost of water since 2010 and competition for scarce water resources leading to instability in areas of South Asia and the Middle East, the World Economic Forum cited the water crisis as the top global risk in terms of impact in 2015. But that water scarcity isn't just lim- ited to other continents, as 32 percent of the continental United States has experienced abnormally dry conditions. Even despite the recent flooding that has forced city and county officials to issue evacuation orders, 11 percent of California is still in the midst of severe to extreme drought conditions (califor- niadrought.org). In the U.S., a focus to address the wa- ter crisis is taking place in commercial restrooms, where Americans routinely use up to three gallons of water in a single flush. This is more water than people in the developing world exist on each day. REDUCING WATER FOOTPRINT STARTS IN THE WASHROOM Thanks to the advent of innovating and water-saving products across all aspects of the commercial restroom — from high-efficiency toilets and urinals to reclaimed water flushometers and electronic faucets — modern plumb- ing fixtures have taken the initiative in drastically reducing our "water footprint." Restroom sustainability began in earnest in the early 1900s when William Elvis Sloan laid the groundwork for all future plumbing innovations with the invention of the flushometer in 1906. Ever since the dawn of his water-saving technology, engineers have been discov- ering ways to lower flush volumes. Toi- let flush volumes dropped from 7 gpf in the 1950s all the way to 1.6 gpf in 1992. Taking that a step further into today's modern restroom, high- efficiency toilets are achieving an average flush volume of 1.28 gpf or less. With HETs using 20 percent less flush volume than most toilets on the market today, some states and municipalities are even beginning to mandate the use of HET fixtures. Manual dual-flush and electronic dual-flush innovations beginning in 1980 proved to be the next transformation in plumbing fixture technology. Reduced flush features deliver a 30 percent water reduction when implemented, using sensor technology to efficiently reduce flush volumes. Easy to install touch- free electronic and solar-powered flushometers provide additional hygiene benefits as well. Commercial buildings of all types, from hotels, shopping malls, office buildings and hospitals have helped to lead the charge in public restroom water conservation. For example, healthcare facilities like Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, have implemented dual-flush technology in their water saving initiatives. RECLAIMING OUR WATER SUPPLY Plumbing innovations have also moved toward reclaimed water. While its high-chemical concentrations can create harsh conditions for plumbing systems, it is a practical solution for reducing water usage in commercial toilets and urinals. In fact, areas in the United States that have experienced recent periods of extreme drought have been some of the first to widely adopt reclaimed water systems. Dating back to 2006, San Francisco, California ranks No. 1 with one of the most comprehen- sive building codes using reclaimed water. Its code mandates that any new construction or substantially reno- vated structure over three stories must provide separate piping to supply non-potable water, even if there are no immediate plans for its use. San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center is utilizing greywater and stormwater for flushing toilets, saving 9,695 gallons of potable water per day, adding up to a savings of 3.5 million gallons of potable water per year. And, with the addi- tion of high-efficiency fixtures, saving an extra 12 million gallons of potable From Top: Hybrid urinals in the Los Angeles Convention Center — a building that hosts 350 events and more than 2 million guests annually — helped the building earn LEED Gold certifi cation. Integrated sink systems in the Los Angeles International Airport cater to the almost 75 million passengers that traveled through in 2016. The dual-fl ush handle toilet implemented in Rush University Medical Center off ers users two fl ush options: Tilt the handle up to fl ush with 1.1 gallons per fl ush of water, or push it down for a standard 1.6 gpf fl ush. WATER WISE Plumbing fixtures 'H2Owning' up to solve water crisis HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Spring 2017 18

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of HVACP - SPR 2017