Dec 19, 2016

MWRD Launches Water Conservation Pilot Program

Public-private partnership supports hybrid urinal program

mwrd, water conservation, urinals, chicago, sloan valve

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) board of commissioners presented a resolution to Chuck Allen, president of Sloan Valve Co.; Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club; Margaret Frisbie, executive director of the Friends of the Chicago River; and James Coyne, business manager for Plumbers Local 130, for their support in launching a pilot program that will encourage businesses and operators of government facilities to think about conserving water every time they flush.

The MWRD board of commissioners announced a water conservation pilot program at MWRD's main headquarters in Chicago that could save 585,000 gal of water annually. Sloan Valve Co., 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 1 gal of water every 72 hours, saving 39,000 gal of water per unit annually.

MWRD is hoping the success of this pilot program will encourage use of the hybrid urinal in businesses and government facilities throughout the county, which would have a dramatic effect on the 1.4 billion gal of water treated per day at its seven water reclamation plants.

"This technology not only benefits the environment, but also the taxpayers of Cook County," said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos, joined by fellow commissioners Barbara McGowan, Frank Avila, Tim 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. 

"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," Allen said. "Everyone has to be committed and work together if we're going to affect real change in water conservation."

The 15 hybrid urinals will be installed in January 2017 by MWRD Local 130 plumbers, making it the first unit of local government in Cook County to utilize the technology. 

"Local 130 has been at the forefront of water and graywater conservation issues, and we're proud to support this pilot program," Coyne said.