Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 January 2011
As a cost effective, unique water saving device, the Multi Flush beats all other systems hands down.
A Water Rhapsody Multi Flush is a flushing mechanism installed into cisterns without the need to alter either the cistern or pan, and amortizes cost in a matter of months. This is most easily understood by corporate customers who only need to lift the money from their operating budget, as it pays for itself within the year, and for the rest of time can take advantage of the savings while water prices rise.
Our first large school to enquire about what we could do for them had eight problems relating to girls toilet flushing. As with most schools during the change to Model C, classes were increased from 15 pupils per classroom to 30 or more; in other words the school populations were doubled. What had not changed was the time for breaks, nor the ablution facility. The problem was restricted to girls, the boys being able to use a urinal as well as their toilets.
1. UTI’s. Girls were presenting UTI’s (urinary tract infections) especially cystitis. The girls that didn’t want to use a fouled toilet or didn’t make it to the end of the queue by the end of break simply had to hold on, making UTI’s and cystitis in particular a problem.
2. Queues. The queue to the toilets was too long to reach the end in the break times. The doubled number of girls with the same number of toilets either needed a faster turnover or an extended break time. The problem was the extraordinary time the large cisterns were taking to fill, and with the siphon type flushing mechanism these needed to fill before they could be flushed again.
3. Broken siphons. The siphon flushing systems were breaking. This was due to the considerable energetic cranking of the handle to get them to work before filling properly. To give say six hard cranks for one flush reduced the lifespan of the mechanism, and if one toilet was put out of commission this was a disaster. Naturally the urgent need for plumbers to maintain the broken systems was an unbudgeted expense.
4. Fouled toilets. At the end of break the toilets were fouled. The turnover needed to reduce the queue meant that towards the end of break the girls no longer cared about a fouled toilet.
5. Money. The capital needed to double size of the ablution facility. Before asking Water Rhapsody to help, they were trying to raise 50 times the value actually paid to us.
6. Janitor Staff. A janitor was required to flush the toilets after break and clean up the toilets. This was logical or there would have been further problems relating to disease.
7. Blockages. A regular occurrence from heavily fouled toilets.
8. Budget. The water budget was exceeded. Naturally the demand for water more than doubled.
Water Rhapsody installation
We installed Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush devices into all of the girl’s toilets. The problems went away and consumption reduced to less than previous demand.
I. Consider the start of break after installation. With a Multi Flush the first girls to use the toilets (remember that 5 out of six toilet flushes per day are for urine only) flush perhaps two to three litres of water from the cistern into the pan, out of the fifteen litre cistern that exists (at this school). Between he changeover from the first to the next girl, some water has flowed via the ball valve into the cistern, and perhaps even filling it again, but if not there is plenty of water for the next girl, and this was representative of the whole of the break. The flow from the ball valve is around a litre a minute, which just about matches the demand.
II. The queue moves at a pace such that before the end of break there is no longer any queue at all.
III. The siphon devices are gone, the cranking is eliminated and also the need to maintain broken flushing devices. Needless to say that one of the benefits of the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush is that it is very robust. Though the system needs a very gentle touch to get it to work, it can take a lot of abuse, and if broken the repair is nothing like that of the work to repair a siphon device. In any case the major institutions that have installed the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush have needed us to do only one single repair over ten years.
IV. The fouling stopped. This problem simply went away.
V. Capital needs were very satisfactorily dispensed with.
VI. It is not known what happened regarding the janitor, but perhaps she had better things to do than flushing fouled toilets after every break.
VII. We had no complaints regarding blockages.
VIII. The demand for water was actually less than the volume prior to implementation of model C.
Further reasons for installing a Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush
A. The Multi Flush has all the qualities of a market leader: price, efficiency and longevity.
B. Demand for water is reduced.
C. Volume of effluent is reduced. This needs some explanation. It was pointed out in a country wide report in 2010 that there is virtually not one sewerage treatment works able to cope with the volume of effluent reaching the respective works. The Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush reduces the volume of water needed for flushing by a minimum of 70%. The results at University of Cape Town were that we reduced the volume by 90%. This means that the effluent volume is reduced by that amount too, reducing the total load at the sewerage treatment works by that amount. Installed country wide the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush would have precisely the same consequence.
D. The Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush amortizes the cost in less than a year.
Misconceptions regarding the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush
a) Misconception – There is not enough water to carry the solids down the pipeline. The fact that there is less water in the sewer system does not mean that this causes blockages. The reduced volume is quite sufficient.
b) Misconception – Pre-school users will not be able to use the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush system properly. We have installed this system into many pre-schools. Furthermore the Water Rhapsody Second Movement (the re-use of grey water for toilet flushing) is also used in exactly the same way, in that you are only able to flush as long as a bell push button is held in the push position. This also means that the flushing stops when the bell push is released. We have installed this system at the Green School crèche at the Old Mutual campus. This crèche has more than three hundred pre-school children, and they are testament to the fact that they have no problem with the ability of children in pre-school to use a Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush.
Environmental spin offs
Once we have installed these systems in schools and universities, children, lecturers, teachers and professors alike are convinced of the benefits of the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush. The children educate their friends and family, and question why they don’t have such a system, while academic staff is keen to use less water with our Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush in their own homes.
Schools are a good place to target for installing the Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush, for every good reason.