Facility Maintenance Decisions

Small Restroom Retrofit Produces Big Savings in Sheriff's Administration Building

A second, smaller retrofit took place at the 41,400-square-foot sheriff's administration facility, reducing yearly water use 161,000 gallons — resulting in savings of $745 yearly. The county replaced about a dozen 3.5 gpf toilets with 1.6 gpf models and installed aerators on 10 lavatory sinks to reduce gallons per use from 2 to 0.5. A 1 gpf urinal also replaced a 1.5 gpf model.

The county outsourced both the jail and sheriff's facilities work, but Brantley negotiated the price, reviewed designs, specified products, conducted work inspections, and reviewed and approved pay requests. The plumbing retrofits generated water savings for the county, but not the kind of major dollar figures other projects in the ESCO did.

"We do have a desire for doubling back and paying some more attention to the water projects," Brantley says. "But we've got competing interests. We're a local government, and we've got competing interests for every dollar we have every year. These projects have to show some attractiveness. I don't feel these projects have really showed quite the attractiveness as other projects we have performed in the past."

The success of the jail retrofit has the county looking at opportunities in other county buildings to use the valve technology and limit flushing opportunities. Public facilities such as jails and courthouses are susceptible to disgruntled people who might leave a restroom's water running intentionally. If water floods a floor for extended periods of time over a weekend when the building is closed, repair costs can soar.

"We have looked into possibly performing a similar retrofit of valves at the Leon County Courthouse, similar in scope to the sheriff's administration facility, and installing it using county staff," Brantley says. "However, the necessary $75,000-80,000 in project funds would need to be approved for this work. The savings could easily top $80,000-$90,000 a year."

Continue Reading: Project Management: Plumbing & Restrooms

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  posted on 1/21/2015   Article Use Policy

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