Is a Waterless Urinal System Right for Your Organization?

Original plumbing codes always insisted that a urinal be flushed with water. When the waterless urinal system was first introduced in 1991, builders and plumbers needed to adapt to new methods of thinking, as there will be less water used to flush fixture or none at all for urinals. With our cutting-edge waterless solutions, there is no need to modify your plumbing; our urinals will fit on like traditional fixtures but no more water supply line. There are great cost savings to be had both during installation and from the ongoing operation of using our waterless urinal system.

Saving Money for Your Organization

When you compare traditional urinals with our proven waterless urinal system, there are many cost savings to be measured.

During a new-build installation, there are savings to be made by not needing to install water supply piping and flush valves to each urinal.

Over time, the biggest saving will be the complete reduction of water used to flush a conventional system. Apart from the savings in dollars, there are further savings for the environment because water is not being wasted and fewer liquids are being sent to a water treatment plant.

Overflow due to a blockage cannot occur with waterless urinal systems, and therefore, maintenance costs are vastly reduced. Your organization will also save by not needing to purchase deodorizers to mask foul odors.

In the conventional flushed urinal system, water used to transport urine out of the bowl could often over time block up the drain line because of a buildup of lime scale from hard water. This is vastly less an issue with waterless urinals.

During cold weather, some plumbing systems need to be protected against the water freezing, causing cracked pipes. This is no longer an obligation with this modern technology as no water is present in the system.

For public areas, there are fewer targets for vandals to attack, as removing and breaking water pipes to flood a restroom is no longer possible.

Waterless Inc. has operated for over a quarter century with the founder being the original inventor of waterless urinal systems. For a new build and design, it is easy to install a waterless urinal system, and it is straightforward to replace your current system with our technology to reduce your water bill, and plumbing problems.  Contact us today: (800) 244-6364.

 

Flies: How to Keep Your School a No Fly Zone

Ever wonder where flies go in the winter?  Well, they don’t pack up and move to Florida.  What they do is adjust to the seasons and when it gets cold outside, they go inside places like your school, where it is nice and warm. 

It’s true we do not see them as frequently. They tend to cluster during the winter months, probably to keep warm. When the warmer weather arrives, that’s when they become more independent and we find them flying inside and outside.

Even though they are not as noticeable in the winter months, they can become a nuisance and a serious nuisance at that.  According to Greg Baumann, Vice President of Training and Technical Services for Orkin Pest Control, “flies can transmit pathogenic microorganisms that cause E. coli, salmonella and shingles. To make matters worse, a 2010 study by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences documented five more bacteria species carried by common house flies that were not previously linked to the pest. These diseases can cause food poisoning or respiratory infections in humans.”

No Flies, use EverPrime

So how do we keep them from living in your school and especially out from areas such as cafeterias and kitchens. Give these suggestions a try:

You can blow them out. 
If you have ever walked into a store and felt a blast of air blowing down directly to the floor, it usually is doing two things.  It is helping to keep outside air – hot or cold -  from coming inside and it is helping to keep flying insects out.  Essentially, it sets up a boundary line that flies cannot cross.

Install another set of doors.
In some parts of the U.S. where flying insects of all kinds are a problem, having two sets of doors at all entries seems to keep most insects from “crossing the line,” so to speak, and entering the building.

Keep food odors down.
As you can imagine, food odors attract flies. To keep odors to a minimum in cafeteria and kitchen areas, line all garbage cans with trash liners and regularly clean the garbage can with a cleaner and disinfectant.  Simply “hosing down” the garbage can will not remove the odors that attract flies. Make sure all trash cans in the kitchen and in the cafeteria are covered and clean cafeteria tables frequently.

Clean up spills.
All types of spills, even if it is just tap water, must be cleaned up quickly.  If you have ever noticed, flies often try to reach our mouths or eyes.  They know that’s where the moisture is.  But if that is not possible, then they look for moisture on just about any type of surface.

Pay attention to floor drains.
This is an area that is often overlooked. Two things can happen to floor drains, causing them to release odors and attract flies.  The first is they begin to clog up, typically due to food or contaminants collecting in the drain.  If water begins to build up, it becomes a perfect place for flies to lay their eggs. Either way, flies love clogged drains. So be sure and unclog drains as soon as you see a problem materializing.

But the other reason is not so apparent. When schools are closed for a few days or longer, floor drains can dry out.  When this happens, sewer odors are released and this also attracts flies…a lot.  In fact, flies like floor drains so much there is actually an entire specifies of flies called “floor drain” flies. (They may also be called moth flies, sewer flies, or filter flies). These flies typically breed around floor drains, which make this a growing problem.

The best way to prevent sewer odors and keep drain flies out of your school is to use a product such as .  Surprisingly inexpensive yet very effective, EverPrime can keep drains from drying out for many months. Cold or hot temperatures have no impact on EverPrime so it is a year-round defense against this problem.

It’s tough to keep flies completely out of schools, but these steps and using EverPrime, can help you stay on top of the struggle and help turn your school into a No Fly Zone.

Water Use in Commercial Facilities

Water use in commercial facilities is very dependent on a number of factors, including the age of the building, the local climate, and how the facility is used, among others. For instance, office buildings that include a cafeteria and a kitchen probably use more water than locations that do not have these features. Further, the type and age of the HVAC systems installed can greatly impact how much water a property consumes.

However, in virtually all settings, restrooms use more water than any other part of a facility. This is according to the U.S. Department of Energy, which estimates that about 60 percent of all water used in a commercial facility is used in toilets, sinks, and urinals.* If building owners and managers want to use water more efficiently, the best place to start is in the restroom.

Before going any further, we should clarify what is meant by the terms water efficiency and water conservation. Typically, when there is a serious water shortage, local governments ask or even require consumers to use less water. However, once the shortage has passed, these restrictions are lifted. This is an example of water conservation—water is conserved during the shortage.

Water efficiency, on the other hand, refers to a long-term reduction in water consumption that is not in response to current water conditions or shortages. Facilities that use water efficiently have systems and fixtures in place that are able to meet users’ needs while also using less water than conventional equivalents.

The benefits of water efficiency efforts can be measured by calculating the difference between what the building owners/managers previously spent on water and related operating costs and what they spend after water efficiency programs are implemented. The return on investment of new equipment, fixtures, and other water-related items can also be calculated over the lifetime of a water efficiency project, and includes such things as reduced maintenance, water, sewer, and related energy costs.

 

Water Efficiency Steps

Below is a quick summary of how a typical commercial facility can use water more efficiently:

Toilets. Replace older toilets with fixtures that meet or exceed Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and International Plumbing Code (IPC) requirements: 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Some newer toilets, including high-efficiency and dual-flush models, use even less water than that.

Faucets. Replace existing faucets or install restrictive aerators to reduce water use from approximately 2.2 gallons per minute to 0.5 gallons per minute.

Urinals. Again, replace older fixtures with newer models that use less water (one gallon of water per flush or less). However, facilities can achieve far greater savings by installing waterless urinal systems.  Further, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, waterless urinals often provide a significant savings due to their lower annual maintenance costs, in addition to the benefits incurred from reduced water use.

Alternative water sources. Some facilities, and even some legal jurisdictions, have installed or are planning to install “greywater” distribution systems. While this water is considered non-potable (that is, not for human consumption), it can usually be used for toilets and traditional urinals, as well as for plant/landscape irrigation in some cases.

Leak Detection. In most cases, leaky restroom fixtures and pipes are only fixed when they become excessive or cause problems, such as water pooling on floors. A formal leak detection program—in which building engineers regularly check all fixtures and major plumbing connections on a set schedule—can save literally thousands of gallons of water annually.

Tracking Water Use

While taking the steps above can help facilities use water more efficiently, the first step building owners and managers should take is tracking where water is being used in the facility. One way to do this is by installing sub-meters in various facility locations (such as restrooms, cafeteria and food service areas, different floors or blocks of floors, etc.) and then monitoring water consumption in each area. This can provide insight into where water is being used and can also point out inconsistencies in water consumption—information that can sometimes result in significant savings.

For instance, a facility might find that one block of floors uses far less water than another block. Is this because there are fewer people on those floors? Or are there plumbing leaks or older fixtures in the block using more water? Tracking water use allows building engineers to move quickly to identify problem areas within a building’s water systems. It also allows owners and managers to decide which areas to tackle first when making changes to increase water efficiency—and decrease water-related expenses.

Taking the time to increase water efficiency gives buildings owners and managers a unique opportunity to become leaders in their communities, helping to have a dramatic impact on reducing water consumption.

A frequent speaker and author on water conservation and water efficiency issues, Klaus Reichardt is founder and CEO of Waterless Co. Inc, Vista, CA, makers of no-water urinal systems and other restroom products.  He may be reached at Klaus@waterless.com

 

*This can vary if water is used for landscape irrigation.

Are California's Utilities Their Own Worst Drought Enemies?

From www.wateronline.com

By Peter Chawaga, Associate Editor, Water Online

In California, life for water and wastewater utilities isn’t easy. They are asked to find solutions for increasingly desperate drought conditions and to do so in ways that won’t make things worse. A new effort to keep them from contributing to climate change might not make things any easier for now, but it could make for a brighter future.

In late August, a bill sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and introduced by Senator Fran Pavley passed California State Legislature. Enrolled and presented to Governor Brown in early September, the bill “SB-1425 Water-Energy Nexus Registry,” would require the California Environmental Protection Agency to develop a registry for greenhouse gas emissions produced by water suppliers and water and wastewater treatment plants.

Water Pumps California Utilities Waterless Urinals

“According to Senator Pavley, this bill was inspired by our report ‘Clean Energy Opportunities in California’s Water Sector,’ which concluded that better data are needed to understand where opportunities lie for the water sector to contribute to California’s climate goals,” said Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith, a UCS climate scientist.

To illustrate the pollution that inspired the bill, Christian-Smith cited California Energy Commission findings that the water sector uses about 20 percent of California’s electricity and 30 percent of its natural gas to pump, treat, transport, deliver, and heat water.

In California as elsewhere, water and wastewater utilities either purchase electricity from a public enterprise or the wholesale market — in which case they have little say over how the energy is produced — or they buy it from independent providers or generate it themselves, which does allow them to choose where that power comes from.

To read more, click here.

How a Water Audit Pays Off

Is there a water audit in your future?

Managers of industrial facilities want to conserve water and find ways to use it more efficiently if for no other reason than it is the right thing to do, right? Well, yes, it is the right thing to do, but there is another reason managers of industrial locations should consider ways to reduce water consumption, and that is to save money.

This article is being written in Chicago where water and sewer rates have essentially doubled since 2007 and have yet to plateau. One report indicates they will go up another 14 percent by 2019. So if the average water bill for a homeowner in Chicago (apartments and single-family homes) was about $35 monthly in 2007, they are now looking at $70 per month, which will likely be getting closer to $100 per month fairly soon.

By comparison, for an industrial location using thousands of gallons of water each month, we’re talking about rate increases that could total several thousand more dollars per year. Managers of industrial locations do not have to be victims of these increases, however. They can take action now to help minimize them and possibly even reduce water and sewer costs. It all starts by conducting a water audit.

Water Efficiency or Water Conservation

Before discussing water audits, we need to clarify a few points. First, although the terms are often used interchangeably, “water conservation” and “water efficiency” are not the same. Possibly this will explain the difference:

If your facility was told to cut back water consumption by 25 percent for 12 months due to a drought, that would be water conservation. You are reducing water consumption to address a current water shortage.

If your business was notified to reduce water consumption by 25 percent on a permanent basis, you would need to find ways to use water more efficiently. Water efficiency is long-term conservation.

Another thing we should clarify regards saving money. There is a very close connection between water and energy. Most facilities use quite a bit of water for heating and cooling, both of which require fuel and energy. Reducing consumption here can help lower power bills as well as water and sewer bills.

Conducting a Water Audit

A water audit is designed to identify where water is being used in a facility, where it may be wasted, and where the amount of water used can be reduced.  If this is the first time you have conducted a water audit or created a water audit checklist, the task can be made a lot easier if we focus on certain areas of the facility. According to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), in a commercial/industrial facility most of the water consumed is in these four areas: *

·         Kitchens and restrooms, 41 percent

·         Cooling/heating, 28 percent

·         Landscaping, 22 percent

·         “Other,” 9 percent (Note: “other” was not defined)

It is typically best to have audits of cooling and heating systems conducted by an expert in that area. They can generate what is called a "water use efficiency report." Landscaping may also require someone specializing in irrigation. Often all that is needed is the installation of water efficient sprinkler heads.

However, conducting a water audit of kitchens and restrooms is something most facilities can easily do in-house, using water audit forms or water audit templates that can be found online,  and as we see, it is where the largest amount of water is typically used.**

Our next step in the water audit is to establish a benchmark. We need to know exactly how much water is being used in the building so we can see if our efforts are proving successful. Even though our focus now is just restrooms and kitchens, our efforts in reducing consumption here will be reflected in future water consumption and water bills.

To establish a benchmark, gather 12 months or more of water utility bills. Our concern now is not costs but the amount of water consumed. Total and then average these amounts to find your monthly usage.**

Next,  the water audit includes taking the following steps:

·         Pay vigorous attention to leaks. According to SFWMD, “leak detection exercises can save a facility tens to hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per year.”

·         Total all toilets in the building and list how much water each is designed to use per flush. Newer toilets are required to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (GPF). Be aware that as toilets age, they may use more than the amount specified. Kits are available to help reduce the amount of water used by toilets or replace toilets so that they use about 1.25 GPF, a reduction of about 20 to 65 percent in water consumption depending on the toilet.

·         Now collect similar data regarding urinals. Newer urinals are designed to use 1 GPF; however, just like toilets, as the flush handles age, they may use more. Kits to reduce water use in urinals may not be dependable. While some urinals are available that use .5 GPF, due to installation costs, many facilities choose to install waterless urinals. Water consumption is eliminated entirely and waterless urinals tend to be relatively inexpensive to purchase and install compared to a water-using urinal.

·         If your facility has shower areas, make sure inexpensive aerators have been installed in all shower heads.

·         Check that aerators have also been installed in all faucets. A faucet can use more than 2 gallons of water per minute; aerators installed in faucets can reduce this to 0.5 gallons per minute.

·         Retrofitting a commercial kitchen with a new dishwasher can reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent, depending on the age of the dishwasher. Similarly, and often overlooked, ice makers that are air-cooled use considerably less water than a water-cooled system.

According to SFWMD, by taking these and similar steps, commercial and industrial facilities can significantly improve water efficiency. In fact, they indicate studies have found that water savings can range “from 15 to 50 percent, with 15 to 35 percent being the most typical savings.”

Of course, the actual savings can depend on many variables, such as when the building was constructed and whether water efficiency efforts were designed into the building when constructed. In either case, a water audit should be re-conducted every couple of years to make sure the facility is using water efficiently and if taking steps such as installing waterless urinals are needed..

A frequent speaker and author on water conservation issues, Klaus Reichardt is founder and CEO of Waterless Co. Inc, Vista, CA, makers of waterless urinals and other restroom products. He founded the company in 1991 with the goal to establish a new market segment in the plumbing fixture industry with water conservation in mind. He may be reached at Klaus@waterless.com

* Based on water consumption around the United States, not just Florida. Percentages can vary in an industrial location depending on how water is used.

** Some facilities have “sub-meters” that indicate how much water is used in different areas of the building. If so, isolate just those amounts used in kitchens and restrooms, then total and average the amounts when conducting a water audit.