The Most Precious Resource C Water by yurtgc548


									R    O     A     M      I    N     ’         W        I     T      H             Y      E      O       M       A       N

                                                                                Raging Thunderlizard Evangelist for Change

    The Most Precious
    Resource – Water
                                                                                                                                                       purchasing mate-
    Brian Yeoman, Linda Paisley
                                                                                                                                                     rials that are used
    & Marisa Hegyesi
                                                                                                                                                   in higher education
    University of Texas Health
                                                                                                                                                 institutions        and
    Sciences Center-Houston
                                                                                                                                             throughout the building
           ccording to the Worldwatch Institute,                                                                                         industry. The inextricable link

    A      a leading source of information on the
           interactions among key environmen-
   tal, social, and economic trends, the world’s
                                                                                                                                      between health and the built envi-
                                                                                                                                  ronment must include the broader
                                                                                                                             understanding of resource use and stew-
   freshwater ecosystems are rich – but greatly withdrawals for human use, extensive pollu- ardship, as well as the role that improved tech-
   imperiled. At least 20 percent of all freshwa- tion, a proliferation of dams, and widespread nology can play in providing more healthful fa-
   ter species globally are extinct or at risk; the draining of wetlands. This fact leads us to ask, cilities. This is an operative definition of the
   figure is twice as high in North America. “Does it make sense to use expensive, multi- biggest challenge to public health in the 21st
   One-sixth of the world’s population – 1.1 bil- chemically treated water to flush human century.
   lion people – lack access to safe drinking wa- waste?”                                                                  Wise stewardship of fresh water is not only
   ter. More than double that number have no                    Water is the most valuable resource in the economical, it is essential to ensure adequate
   access to proper sanitation. Each year, more world! A person can live more than a month supplies in the future. Annually, approximately
   than 5 million people die from water-related without food, but not more than a week with- 25 percent of the total renewable fresh water
   diseases. Without increased conservation ef- out water. The importance of water in daily supply in the United States is withdrawn for
   forts, better management of water re- functions highlights the fact that we must pay use in buildings, homes, industry, agriculture,
   sources, and related ecosystems, two-thirds close attention to how we are utilizing this re- and recreation. Approximately 65 percent of
   of the world’s population will suffer from se- source.                                                              this water is returned to our water systems, but
   vere or moderate shortages by the year 2025.                 To meet the challenges of managing water the resultant deficit is huge – estimated at 3.7
       Freshwater systems suffered greatly in the resources, it is imperative that there be a trillion gallons per year. Our current water-in-
   20th century from huge increases in water change in the mindset of those responsible for tensive practices and the frightening rapidity
                                                                                                                                           at which our water supply is
                                                                                                                                           diminishing mandate an
                                                                                                                                           overhaul of our approach to
                                     KOHLER                   FALCON                AM. STANDARD                                           water policy and water us-
    MANUFACTURER              STANDARD URINAL               WATERLESS            STANDARD URINAL              WATERLESS CO.                age at every level, including
    SIZE                                18”                      18”                        18”                      18”                   the procurement of plumb-
    MODEL                            Stanwell                U2P (ADA)                  Lynbrook                Sonora (ADA)               ing fixtures.
    LIST PRICE                       $506.90                  $309.00                    $625.00                  $498.50                     The U.S. Green Building
    WALL SUPPORT                     Required               Not required                Required                 Not required              Council has developed the
    FLUSH VALVE                      Delaney                    None                    Sloan 980                   None                   Leadership in Energy and
    VALVE TYPE                  Handle-activated                None                Handle-activated                None                   Environmental Design
    NEW                           Water supply               Not needed               Water supply               Not needed                (LEED) Green Building Rat-
    CONSTRUCTION                     required                                            required                                          ing System, a building-certi-
    INSTALL. LABOR*                  $124.00                   $30.00                    $124.00                   $30.00                  fication process that intends
    TOTAL FIRST COST                 $752.00                  $339.00                    $772.00                  $528.50                  to foster more environmen-
    WATER USE/FLUSH               1 gallon/flush                None                  1 gallon/flush                None                   tally sound and economi-
*Water-supply related labor and pressure test on flushed urinals only.                                                                     cally viable decisions in
Assumption: A urinal uses 28,200 gallons of water/sewer per year. Flush valve repair parts and time=Labor is estimated at $85.00/year      building design and con-
for flushed urinals and $33.50/year for waterless urinals.
                                                                                                                                           struction, and which is in

14       NAEB JOURNAL                                                                                                                                    Fall 2003
                   BASIC MONTHLY                                           TOTALS                                 ESTIMATED
                 WATER/SEWER RATE                        ESTIMATED     FLUSH URINAL                              PARTS/ LABOR                 ESTIMATED
                 PER 1,000 GALLONS                      PARTS/LABOR      (BASED ON                                WATERLESS                  TOTAL COST
       CITY            (2002)                             PER YEAR  28,200 GALLONS/YR.)                             URINAL                   SAVINGS/YR.
       BOSTON           $8.58                              $85.00          $325.24                                  $33.50                     $291.74
       NEW YORK         $5.00                              $85.00          $225.00                                  $33.50                     $191.50
       ATLANTA          $7.53                              $85.00          $295.84                                  $33.50                     $262.34
       CHICAGO         $16.51                              $85.00          $547.28                                  $33.50                     $513.78
       HOUSTON          $8.50                              $85.00          $323.00                                  $33.50                     $289.50
       LOS ANGELES      $7.00                              $85.00          $281.00                                  $33.50                     $247.50
       SAN DIEGO        $6.22                              $85.00          $259.16                                  $33.50                     $225.66

    The payback period for the Sonora Model in Houston, Texas, is 1.8 years and only 1 year in Chicago. The above-listed costs do not include recurring meter charges
    and similar surcharges.

wide use. A LEED-certified building is recog-            States. In a typical institutional building, as-             made the decision to install waterless uri-
nized for outstanding energy and resource effi-          suming the following – three urinals, 120 men                nals in the 7th floor blue section men’s
ciency, innovative design, and environmental             using a urinal three times a day, 1 gallon per               room. The others are always breaking in
responsibility. Water efficiency is one of the           flush, and 235 working days per year – then                  some way or other (I notice the fancy mo-
categories the LEED process recognizes as an             84,600 gallons of potable water are flushed                  tion sensors have been replaced with old-
opportunity to have a tremendous positive im-            down the drain every year. Waterless urinals                 fashioned handles in the green section
pact.                                                    deliver zero water utilization!                              men’s room). I use the blue section
   It is believed that a 30 percent reduction                We are aware of an institution of higher edu-            every day, despite the longer walk (not
in water usage in buildings is very achiev-              cation that has installed 47 waterless urinals to            that I don’t need the exercise.).
able through existing measures. As increas-              date at a price of $398 per unit, with a series of           Thanks, R.H.”
ing water demand further taxes our dimin-                very positive experiences. Waterless urinals                  Housekeeping professionals inform us that
ishing water supply, prices will most                    are now the standard for urinals and are incor-            installing a waterless urinal minimizes routine
certainly continue to escalate. LEED-certi-              porated into the design for all new facilities.            maintenance, and mechanical maintenance is
fied buildings will not only stand out as ex-            New construction in progress has 15 waterless              reduced to changing the cartridges quarterly.
amples of resource conservation and effi-                urinals specified, and two new facilities in               The maintenance costs associated with valve
ciency, but they will also be increasingly               planning will add another 24.                              repair, clogged sewer pipes, vandalism, or any
more economical to operate over time.                        In addition to saving water and reducing               other repairs are nonexistent. With proper at-
   Remember how often it is suggested that               sewer effluent, waterless urinals are a great              tention, the maintenance requirements for a
only through changed minds can behavior be               improvement over traditional urinals in both               waterless urinal are absolutely minimal com-
altered. Using precious, potable water to flush          maintenance and hygiene. The moisture asso-                pared with keeping mechanical flush systems
human waste is not economical or wise. Here is           ciated with standard water-flush urinals plays             operational and leak-free. These no-flush units
an example of changed minds. The installation            host to microbes, bacteria, and viruses. These             are cost-effective. Financial and resource sav-
of waterless urinals is a simple, effective              pathogens become airborne when the urinals                 ings over the fixture life cycle make the deci-
means of changing behavior. The result is a              are flushed. By installing waterless urinals,              sion to convert a no-brainer. In fact, the main-
more resource-efficient building that is more            with predominantly dry surfaces and no flush-              tenance advantages of waterless urinals have
economical in both first- and life-cycle costs.          ing actions, the exposure to airborne bacteria             resulted in a policy at this institution to re-
Assuming reasonable usage, a waterless urinal            is reduced tremendously. Due to the absence                place the entire urinal assembly with a water-
can save approximately 28,200 gallons of water           of water, ammonia oxide generated in the                   less urinal if an auto flush valve breaks. And if
per year. As a bonus cost-savings, sewer                 chemical reaction between urine and water is               any facility is remodeled, the conventional uri-
charges in most utility settings are also elimi-         prevented or greatly reduced. This chemical                nals are replaced with waterless urinals. In or-
nated or greatly reduced, as they are usually di-        reaction is what causes the odors typically as-            der to educate and gain acceptance of the wa-
rectly linked to water usage. Therefore, water-          sociated with urinals. Yes, waterless urinals              terless urinals, placards are posted in close
less urinals save money on two fronts – forever.         make bathrooms smell better! And the hands-                proximity, diagramming its functions; articles
   By reducing the amount of effluent re-                free operation of waterless urinals eliminates             are displayed explaining the benefits; users are
leased into the sewer, we reduce the amount              the biggest source of germs – the flush valve              thanked for their contributions.
of fluid released into our wastewater treat-             handle! It is not a National Park Service expe-               Replacing standard urinals with waterless
ment plants and into our natural waterways               rience.                                                    urinals does not require a great deal of labor.
and oceans. This reduction slows down the                    As a testament to how well employees like              Simply shut down the existing water supply
dollars required for reinvestment and operat-            the waterless urinals, this unsolicited endorse-           and cap the line. Mount the waterless system
ing costs. The EPA estimates that standard               ment was recently received by e-mail at the                on the wall like other conventional urinals, and
toilets and urinals flush down the drain 4.8 bil-        referenced institution:                                    then connect it to the drain/sewer pipe using a
lion gallons of water each day in the United                   “Just wanted to commend whoever                      gasket/flange or standard pipe connection.                                                                                                                      NAEB JOURNAL                          15
R     O     A     M      I   N      ’        W       I    T      H           Y      E     O      M          A      N

       Waterless urinals are available in the               In the recent past, water has been abundant         you. The 1992 Federal Energy Policy Act man-
    United States from three companies: Falcon           and inexpensive, leading people to use more            dates more efficient commercial plumbing fix-
    Waterfree Technologies, the Waterless Com-           than necessary. We must become more con-               tures. So why not replace the watered urinals
    pany, and Duravit. The primary differences           scious of the amount of water we use and look          with waterless urinals?
    among the products lie in the trap design, but       for ways to reduce it. These statistics and pre-          Do Great Things!!
    all designs involve a simple trap that seals         dictions can be overwhelming, but you can
    sewer gases and urine with a layer of immisci-       make a difference. Purchasing decisions are               For more information on the
    ble liquid that floats on urine.                     the most powerful form of policy and product           Worldwatch Institute and LEED,
       Because there are areas that already suffer       expression in a capitalist society. Purchasing         visit The Worldwatch Institute at
    from water shortages, it is imperative that we       for an institution magnifies the power of this and LEED at
    conserve this natural resource today so that we      decision, and you have regulations to support
    may avoid severe shortages tomorrow. In her
    book, Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, San-
    dra Postel postulates that “Water scarcity will
    affect everything from prospects for peace in
                                                                                  Brian K. Yeoman is Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning
    the Middle East to global food security, the
                                                                                  and Campus Development at the University of Texas Health Science
    growth of cities, and the location of industries.”
                                                                                  Center at Houston. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the
    To magnify this view, since 1950, the global re-
                                                                                  University of South Dakota. As a futurist, he has a keen interest in the
    newable freshwater supply per person has
                                                                                  environment and sustainable development. He has written extensively
    fallen 58 percent, as world population has
                                                                                  on incorporating sustainability principles into business operations, and
    swelled from 2.5 billion to 6 billion. By 2015,
                                                                                  the need for individual initiative, as opposed to governmental
    nearly 3 billion people – 40 percent of the pro-
                                                                                  programs and as a proposed course of action. Yeoman is interested in
    jected world population – are expected to live
                                                                                  Change Management, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Principle-
    in countries that find it difficult or impossible
                                                                                  Centered Leadership and has consulted on automation of purchasing,
    to mobilize enough water to satisfy the food, in-
                                                                                  facilities management, and other functions for public-sector
    dustrial, and domestic needs of their citizens.
                                                                                  institutions and not-for-profit organizations nationwide. He has
       In an article entitled “Water for the Future,”
                                                                                  presented many workshops at NAEB Regional and Annual Meetings.
    published in Texas Parks & Wildlife [July
    2002], Dr. Larry McKinney states that almost
                                                                                  Linda L. Paisley is an architect with the Office of Facilities Planning
    900 Texas cities will not have enough water
                                                                                  and Campus Development at the University of Texas Health Science
    from current sources to meet their needs in
                                                                                  Center at Houston. e-Mail:
    the year 2050. And according to “Water for
                                                                                  Marisa Miller Hegyesi, MIB, is Communications Officer for the Office
    Texas 2002,” a newly adopted state plan, Texas
                                                                                  of Facilities Planning and Campus Development at the University of
    currently has an unmet need of 2.4 million
                                                                                  Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
    acre-feet of water annually, which is equiva-
    lent to approximately 782,043,428,541 gallons.
    So, does it make sense to use expensive, multi-
    chemically treated water to flush human
    waste? The answer is a resounding “NO!”

16        NAEB JOURNAL                                                                                                                          Fall 2003

To top