The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners announced a water conservation pilot program at the MWRD’s main headquarters 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 that 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 is hoping that the success of this pilot program will encourage use of the hybrid urinal in businesses and government facilities throughout the county, which would have an effect on the 1.4 billion gallons of water treated per day at their seven water reclamation treatment plants.
“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.”
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 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.