SPR 2018

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Page 18 of 38

Today's restroom fixtures hard at work to conserve nation's water supply B Y P AT R I C K B O Y L E W ater is a complex natural resource. There are federal and state laws that govern just about every aspect, including how it can be used, where it can be used, how much of it to use and the overall quality of it as well. Water is needed to sustain life, generate electricity, drive business growth and provide food for a growing global population. The U.S. population has increased over the past 50 years, and with that so has an overall thirst for water at an unsustainable rate. The World Resources Institute Aqueduct project has created some of the most detailed water stress maps that visually depict how stressed water resources are throughout the country and the rest of the world. We must look at both protecting freshwater systems and pro- moting water conservation programs. Water consumption at manufactur- ing facilities and power plants are cer- tainly major factors in water consump- tion throughout the United States, but it's the commercial restroom that is responsible for the majority of water use in most commercial buildings. Whether that commercial building is a school, office, hospital, hotel/motel or airport, most of the water consumed in that building is in the restroom. Restrooms account for 45 percent of total water use in schools and 37 percent in office buildings, so com- mercial plumbing fixtures are uniquely positioned to lead the way in reducing the water footprint. The No. 1 consum- er of water in the restroom is the water closet and, considering that office buildings use over 14,000 gallons of water per day on average, it's become apparent that water conservation in commercial restrooms offers a great opportunity to save water and money. IT TAKES TWO Water closet flush volumes have come a long way since registering 7 gallons per flush in the 1950s. Now, commercial restroom manufacturers are developing high-efficiency water closets that use as little as 1.1 gpf and dual-flush flushom- eters are able to reduce water volume by 30 percent. Dual-flush flushometers provide two water-efficient flush op- tions by initiating a 1.6 gpf for a full flush or a 1.1 gpf for a reduced flush at the user's discretion. These reduced flush options have become increasingly common in states like California where a premium has been placed on water conservation. Fa- cilities such as the Los Angeles Union Station — a building that sees 50,000- 100,000 people go in and out every day — and city-operated buildings across west Los Angeles have specified dual- flush flushometers to play their part in helping California emerge from its severe drought conditions. WATERFREE FIXTURES While high-efficiency water closets and flushometers have lowered flush volumes to 1.1 gpf, urinals are imple- menting technology that eliminates flush volumes altogether. Standard waterfree urinals are conserving up to 40,000 gallons of water each year in addition to utilizing touch-free opera- tion to promote hygiene and eliminate cross-contamination. But 100 percent water savings with urinals doesn't come without Savings At-A-Glance 1. Waterfree urinals not only provide maximum water savings, but Jetrinse Solution Technology is helping them to become more hygienic than ever before. 2. Sensor-based faucets are working to save up to 40 percent more water than manual faucets. 3. Faucets in the commercial restroom are working to signifi cantly reduce the 1 trillion gallons of water that faucets account for annually. 4. Innovations across all commercial restroom fi xtures are driving down water consumption, while improving hygiene for its occupants. 2 1 HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Spring 2018 16

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