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Vanderbilt Univ. saves water with new toilet technology

Posted by on Thursday, November 19, 2009 in News, Water.

[Originally published by News 2 WKRN]

The World Toilet Organization declared November 19 as World Toilet Day when the organization, committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions world wide, was founded in 2001.

Vanderbilt University used World Toilet Day to remind people to save water. Vanderbilt is using innovative technology on campus to save money and natural resources.

Kendra Abkowitz, a sustainability professional at Vanderbilt said, “All of our water-saving fixtures has saved about 9 million gallons of water a year for Vanderbilt’s Campus.”

Vanderbilt is using waterless urinals and dual flush toilets on campus, saving enough water to cover an entire football field in 30 feet deep in water or fill 304,000 bathtubs.

“We have installed 492 of the water-saving fixtures on campus,” said Abkowitz.

Standard toilets consume between 3.5 to 5.5 gallons of water per flush compared to the waterless urinals that do not use any water.

The waterless urinals work by using an internal trap that is filled with a liquid lighter than urine.

The urine sinks below the liquid and is directed down the drain by gravity, eliminating odor from entering the restroom.

Each water-free urinal can save up to 40,000 gallons of water each year.

“People are fascinated, and they kind of look at them very funny at first and want to know what they’re supposed to do, but they work just as well,” said Abkowitz.

The dual flush toilets works just like their name suggest and can be flushed depending on how it is used by pulling the handle up for liquid and pushing handle down for solids.

The university has also installed low flow, no touch faucets to save water at sinks.

“Students really appreciate that we are making all efforts that we can to conserve water,” said Abkowitz.

Vanderbilt is systematically going through older buildings and installing fixtures like these so they can conserve water on the entire campus.

For more information about The World Toilet Organization or the holiday, visit


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