The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners has announced a water conservation pilot program at its main headquarters at 100 E. Erie St. in Chicago, that could save 585,000 gallons of water annually. In January 2017, that facility will be outfitted with 15 hybrid urinal fixtures.
A special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, IL, MWRD is hoping that the results of this pilot program will encourage use of this type of restroom fixture in businesses and government facilities throughout the county. Such installations would have a significant effect on the 1.4 billion gallons of water treated per day at the seven water reclamation treatment plants operated by MWRD.
Sloan Valve Company, a manufacturer specializing in plumbing valves and fixtures, has donated the 15 hybrid urinals for use in MWRD’s main office. These 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.
“This technology not only benefits the environment but also the taxpayers of Cook County,” said President Mariyana Spyropoulos, joined by fellow commissioners Barbara McGowan, Frank Avila, Timothy Bradford, Martin Durkan, Josina Morita, Debra Shore, Kari Steele, and David Walsh. “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.”
“Sloan Valve is ecstatic to partner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and is encouraged this pilot program has the support of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Chicago River and Plumbers Local 130,” said Chuck Allen, president of Sloan Valve. “Everyone has to be committed and work together if we’re going to affect real change in water conservation.”
The hybrid urinal technology was designed by Sloan Valve in an effort to meet growing concerns over water conservation, while at the same time providing an efficient, low maintenance, hygienic, and odor-free product.
“Friends of the Chicago River encourages all of our government partners to take the District’s water conservation challenge through every measure possible including using smart technologies like water-reducing urinals and promoting Overflow Action Days,” said Friends’ Executive Director, Margaret Frisbie. “If we all work together, we can protect clean water and reduce flooding and pollution to the river.”
The 15 hybrid urinals will be installed by MWRD Local 130 plumbers, making the MWRD the first unit of local government in Cook County to utilize the technology. “Local 130 has been at the forefront of water and gray water conservation issues, and we’re proud to support this pilot program,” said James Coyne, business manager for Plumbers Local 130.
“This pilot program is the result of the public and private sectors working together,” said Vice President McGowan. “These types of partnerships are essential to solving our growing water quality issues in Cook County.”
The MWRD and Sloan Valve are both members of U.S. EPA WaterSense, a partnership program designed to enhance the market for water efficient products and services by making it easier for 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.