Reducing Water Usage at the NEC
One of the car park toilet blocks at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham was found to be not connected to the mains sewerage but instead discharged into a large septic tank. The car park itself was only used during certain larger exhibitions and the toilets were only opened when the car park was operational. However, NEC management identified a disproportionately high volume of metered water consumption through this toilet block, coupled with regular bills for emptying the septic tank.
Upon investigation, Cistermiser quickly established that, in the gents’ washroom there were no urinal flush controls and that uncontrolled auto flush urinal cisterns were continuously filling and flushing so leading to high water usage.
There were a substantial number of urinals and cisterns in this particular car park toilet block, the obvious option of fitting urinal flush controls would involve a number of units and a significant initial cost. In light of this, Cistermiser offered their Washroom Control system (Sensazone), which triggers water services and electrical services on automatically when infrared sensors detect body movement within the washroom and switches those services off during periods of non-use.
A Washroom Control system, tailored to control the services in the toilet block, was retro-fitted quite simply and at lower cost than providing individual urinal flush controls. Strategically placed P.I.R. sensors ensured that water and electrical services remained on only when the toilet block was in service. This system also ensured that lighting was only switched on when ambient daylight was insufficient.
The system not only brought the water volume usage down substantially, but also provided urinal flush control. There was an immediate and sustained reduction in the frequency of septic tank emptying and greatly reduced annual water bills. Electricity costs were also reduced and the task of switching lights on and off in a remote building on such a large site was also eliminated.