The San Diego City Council recently approved the funding of a pilot study at the Scripps Green Hospital to assess the water savings potential of Watermiser Corp.’s patented Custom Flow Control Valves.
The pilot study described in the city minutes is as follows:
Flow restricting faucet aerators have long been recognized as an affordable, easy and effective method to conserve water and are widely used in both residential and commercial settings. However, due to the potential harboring of infectious diseases at the aerator, hospitals are not permitted to use them, presenting a unique challenge in finding ways to achieve water use efficiency at the faucet. The Custom Flow Control Valve (FCV) by Watermiser (Corp.) is a unique device that may offer a water-saving solution for hospitals and other sterile environments.
Unlike an aerator, the FCV does not aerate the water as it passes through the faucet, thus eliminating concerns over infectious disease. Flow rates for FCVs can be customized from as little as 0.5 gallons per minute to fit the specific pressure and function of the faucet, thus offering the opportunity for hospitals and other sterile environments to achieve water use efficiency.
The goal of this pilot study is to assess water savings potential through the use of FCVs at faucets at Scripps Green Hospital, San Diego. A small sampling of existing faucet flow rates at the hospital ranged from 2.5 to 9 gallons per minute (gpm) – fairly high compared to a typical flow rate for an aerated faucet of 2.2 gpm. During the study 50 faucets will be measured before FCVs are installed and again after installation. To provide an additional quantitative measure of water usage, three of the 50 faucets will be retrofitted with a small meter on the water line to record the water flow rate for a period of 90 days before and again 30 days after installation of a FCV. Average water savings potential from the FCVs at the 50 faucets annually and over a 15-25 year life of device would be estimated from the data and reported on. Hospital employees will be surveyed to assess product satisfaction.
Learning more about the effectiveness of FCVs in a hospital setting will allow Public Utilities Water Conservation Program to further its goal of helping customers find and adopt new technologies that offer cost effective ways to conserve water. Conserving water indoors serves to extend our local water supply and in turn provides an additional benefit of reducing wastewater (return to sewer) in equal measure.