Kansas State University Department of Civil Engineering Master’s thesis research student, Kimberly Pierson, found that the urinals on campus use approximately 0.5 to 1.5 gallons of water per flush (GPF). This indicates that most of the urinals on this campus are newer and in good working order. Many older urinals, for instance, use as much as 3 GPF and even urinals that were initially designed to use no more than 1 GPF, over time may begin using considerably more with use and age.
However, as part of her utility audit, Pierson wanted to uncover how much this water consumption costs the university. She believed that the less water these fixtures used, the higher would be the cost savings.
Pierson was not just evaluating the urinals’ usage though. She was also testing and determining the water-related costs of faucets, toilets, showers, and other water-using fixtures on the campus.
"The thesis objective was to establish a process that all states and state-funded facilities can follow [to] determine baselines, establish energy auditing procedures, and recommend monitoring techniques."
This would enable colleges to better determine how much these water-using fixtures are costing them, as well as to provide an estimate of how much they would save and what type return on their investment they could expect should they upgrade these fixtures in the future.
It’s important to note that her study was conducted in 2011. The cost of water today is notably higher than it was eight years ago.
To ensure accuracy, the research was conducted at different times of the year to help "average-out" the findings. During the warmer months, for example, people use more water by taking more showers. In addition, if men specifically drink more water in the summer, this means they are likely to use urinals more frequently. It would follow that water-related costs would most likely be higher in the warmer months than in the colder months.
Pierson discovered the following:
• Each urinal that uses 0.5 GPF have an annual water cost of $10.80 (based on 2011 charges)
• Each urinal that uses 1.5 GPF have an annual water cost of $32.40
She did not test every urinal, nor did the study indicate how many urinals of each kind were installed on the campus. We do know that Kansas State University had 4,240 students in 2011. So, let's assume half of those students (2,120) were males.
According to different studies, there should be one urinal installed for every 20 men. This indicates that there were likely 106 urinals on the campus at that time, costing on average $21.60 per urinal per year for water.
The water bill, just for the urinals, amounted to nearly $2,300 per year. While this is not a staggering amount, we must remember that these are old charges and this is a relatively small campus. Undoubtedly, this cost would be much higher today.
However, by transferring to waterless urinals at that time, the campus could save this amount and the return on the investment would be achieved in approximately five months. After those five months, the waterless urinals would have begun to pay dividends that would most likely still be coming in today.
For more information on Waterless urinals and ways to reduce water related costs, contact a Waterless Co representative.