This week we will be focusing on great educational institutions that have embraced waterfree technology and taken it to another level. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. It is home to more than 35,000 artifacts and more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on experiences designed to ignite scientific inquiry and creativity. In order to help us develop more effective and hygienic ways to save water, they have installed test stations and continue to study how effective waterfree can be when you don’t have a fixture upstream.
As commercial building designs continue to reduce water consumption through the use of high efficiency and waterfree fixtures, the need to maintain proper drain line carry with less water is growing. Independent studies have shown impressive benefits associated with incorporating one or more water fixtures such as sinks or toilets upstream from the waterfree urinals. What happens is that the sink upstream provides a surge of water that rinses the pipes.
When this option is not available, innovative companies such as the Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry have installed and studied a simple system consisting of a solenoid valve, controller and air gap device directly into the main drain line. This practice provides the same stream of water necessary to purge the pipes and minimize drain line maintenance requirements, providing superior waterfree urinal performance.
The configuration of the testing station consisted of:
Two banks of 9 urinals each, installed in the central restrooms on the main floor;
3/4” Solenoid Valve on timer upstream of urinal bank where no water supplying fixture existed;
Timer set for 3x per day, 5 seconds of flow, an average of 1 gallon per cycle
After 7 years of use and testing, the drain pipes remained clean and free of debris, using only 1,100 gallons per year.