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The plumbing and restroom retrofits consisted of a series of smaller projects at nine county facilities, with the crews finishing one building before moving to the next. The first project took place in 2009 at the county’s Vanguard Building, a 78,000 square-foot, two-story office building built in 1987.
In-house workers upgraded 45 water closets to 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) models, installed hands-free auto-flush kits and upgraded 14 urinals from 1.5 gpf to 0.5 gpf. They also upgraded 31 restroom faucets and 10 kitchen faucets, dropping the gallons per minute (gpm) flow rates to 1.6 gpm and 2.2 gpm, respectively.
The other eight projects consisted of 206 toilets, 50 urinals and an unmeasured number of sinks across eight buildings. The projects combined to produce water savings of 35 percent for the county.
“Since we initially started, the toilets have been consistent, going from 3.5 gallons per flush to 1.28,” Harris says. “The urinals kind of vary (in gpf). When we started the Vanguard, the lowest was 1 gpf at the time. They range from 0.5 gpf and now the standard is 0.125. Whatever the lowest flush fixture that was available at the time, that’s the one we used.”
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