A Water-Saving Program Begins With a Flush

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The toilets in the boys’ room on the third floor of Bayside High School in Queens flush with a quick but powerful surge and then water gurgles back up into the bowl.

This might sound standard for a restroom, but since August, Bayside has been saving gallons of water with every flush of its 102 toilets.

Bayside is one of two New York City public schools in a pilot program to replace water-wasting toilets with new low-flow flushers. Within five years, 500 city schools are to have 40,000 toilets with new technology that should cut water consumption 70 percent and save four million gallons of water each day, or more than 700 million gallons a year, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

The new toilets send 1.2 gallons of water down the pipes each time they are used, a reduction from 3.5 to 4.5 gallons with the old toilets, Richard Fricione the building’s head engineer, said.

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