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Dual-Flush Valves Curb Airport Water Usage


Conserving water has a dual benefit for facilities: environmental stewardship and economic savings. Large facilities can use a staggering amount of water daily, and in a busy facility like an airport with thousands of people coming and going 24/7, toilets are an obvious target for water savings. That's why officials at the Portland International Airport decided something had to be done to protect the environment.

More than 35,000 people use the airport's terminal every day. That adds up to a lot of water literally being flushed down the drain: 400 toilets were flushed an average of 200 times per day and used 3.5 gallons of water per flush. That's 80,000 flushes and 280,000 gallons of water every day.

To lessen the waste, Port of Portland officials who are responsible for the airport decided to install Sloan Uppercut dual-flush flushometers in all of the terminal restrooms. The flushometers use 1.1 gallons when the flush valve handle is raised for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons of water when the handle is pushed down for solid waste.

Restrooms in the airport's executive offices also underwent plumbing upgrades with the installation of Sloan ECOS electronic dual-flush flushometers. They offer the same gallons-per-flush options but with the added benefit of an automatic, touch-free operation. The flushometer's Smart Sense Technology selects the correct flush cycle based on how long the user remains in sensor range.

"By installing the flush valves, we've been able to recognize real water savings and have a positive impact environmentally and on our business' bottom line," says Larry Medearis, senior manager of aviation maintenance and facility services. The airport is now using an average of 103,000 gallons of water daily, a savings of 177,000 per day from before the dual-flush valves were installed.

posted:  2/9/2009