The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners has formed a water conservation pilot program at the organization’s main headquarters in Cook County, Chicago, that could save 585,000 gallons of water annually. Sloan Valve Company, a manufacturer specializing in plumbing valves and fixtures, has donated 15 hybrid urinals for use in MWRD’s main office. These special units clean the lines behind the trap with a burst of one gallon of water every 72 hours saving 39,000 gallons of water per unit annually.
The MWRD hopes the pilot program will encourage use of the hybrid urinals in businesses and government facilities throughout the county, which would have a significant effect on the 1.4 billion gallons of water treated per day at its seven water reclamation treatment plants.
“This technology not only benefits the environment but also the taxpayers of Cook County,” said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos, joined by fellow commissioners. “Government should be leading the charge on environmental issues rather than being reactionary. I’d like to extend a friendly challenge to all other branches of local government to join us on the front end of this conservation effort and help protect our greatest natural resource, Lake Michigan. To be able to encourage such a diverse coalition to join forces on such an important issue shows what we can accomplish when we work cohesively.”
The hybrid urinal technology was designed by Sloan Valve in an effort to meet mounting concerns about water conservation, while also providing a low-maintenance, hygienic, odor-free, and overall efficient product.
The 15 hybrid urinals were installed in January by MWRD Local 130 plumbers, making the MWRD the first unit of local government in Cook County to utilize the technology. The MWRD and Sloan Valve are both members of U.S. EPA WaterSense, a partnership program designed to boost the market for water-efficient products and services by helping consumers and others to find products that use less water. The MWRD signed on as a governmental member of WaterSense in 2012, and Sloan Valve Co. is a product manufacturer partner.