West Virginia Jail

Type of works: water and energy saving costs with AcornVac plumbing.

A new AcornVac system has been installed at West Virginia Regional Jail. 'We wanted to be environmentally sensitive,' said John Chambliss, Roanoke County assistant administrator and a representative on the jail authority.

The designs called for a multitude of energy saving and eco-friendly measures, such as natural lighting through skylights and the use of runoff rainwater to wash laundry and cars.

One key element in the project has been the installation of an AcornVac vacuum assisted low-flow toilet system. A relatively new technology in this type of construction, the authorities wanted to make sure it would be cost effective. 'We can operate with one-third to one-half the water consumption that we'd normally have,' Chambliss said. 'Although the system will cost $150,000 more than conventional plumbing to install, the reduced water and sewer costs will pay that back in six to eight months.' This project is due for completion in 2007.

In Australia this experience has been repeated: the annual report of the Queensland Government Corrective Services Department states: 'Vacuum toilet systems have been included in newly constructed correctional centres, reducing water consumption by at least 25%'.

Similar savings have been calculated for UK projects.

Water usage reduction also provides key benefits. Water sourcing, storage, purification and delivery all have a quantifiable energy cost. Research has shown that AcornVac could save one retail group over 250 tons of CO2 emissions every year on water used in WC flushing alone.

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