July 5, 2004
New, remodeled restrooms at Cowley to include water-saving technology
Water is a precious commodity, and officials at Cowley County Community College know that.
In an effort to conserve water, Cowley is installing improved fixtures and technology in new and remodeled restrooms on the main campus in Arkansas City.
The men’s restrooms inside Galle-Johnson Hall are being remodeled and equipped with new waterless urinals. Those same fixtures are going into men’s restrooms inside the lobby of W.S. Scott Auditorium that is being renovated. And when the new classroom building is completed in summer 2005, its men’s restrooms also will have the new water-saving fixtures installed. The new waterless urinals look like regular urinals, but they do not use water.
Related to that, new low-flow toilets have been installed in the women’s restrooms inside Galle-Johnson, and will be installed in the men’s restrooms as well as both bathrooms in W.S. Scott Auditorium and the new classroom building. Federal guidelines mandate that new toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Older fixtures used anywhere from 3.5 to 5 gallons per flush.
It is estimated that Cowley will save around 500,000 gallons of water annually by switching to the new technology, and that pleases Tony Crouch, vice president of business services.
“It will be a cost savings,” Crouch said. “But we’re excited about the environmental impact this will have in the amount of water we’ll save.”
The most effective way to reduce water consumption is not to use any. That’s why urinals that do not use water are becoming more common in school restrooms.
Instead of requiring water to flush away liquid waste, the urinals use a disposable cartridge placed between the fixture and the existing drainpipe. The cartridge holds sealant liquid, and when waste flows into the cartridge, the sealant liquid forms a barrier between the open air above and the waste below. The cartridge filters sediment from the liquid waste and traps that sediment in the bottom of the cartridge. The remaining liquid waste flows out and down the drain. The sealant liquid in a waterless urinal prevents any odor from the waste from affecting a restroom.
The men’s restrooms in Galle-Johnson Hall, located on the main floor and second floor, had to be retrofitted for the new fixtures.