Water-saving, automatic hands-free faucets

Story by Pia Amberger and David Salinas, USAG Ansbach DPW Environmental Management Division

ANSBACH, Germany (Jan. 30, 2017) — One of the garrison’s Sustainable Environmental Management System, or SEMS, goals for 2017 is to reduce water consumption by 2 percent from 2016. To achieve this goal, especially in regard to the incoming rotational forces, the Cross Functional Team, or CFT, decided to install a specific brand of automatic hands-free faucet in the bathrooms of Army Family Housing. But how exactly can faucets help with the reduction of water usage?

This special type of faucet has several advantages compared to standard faucets. For example, they have a significantly lower flow rate of 5 liters per minute. Compare that to 13 liters per minute for the current model installed in Army Family Housing. By installing and using the newer model, the garrison would be using 61 percent less water for each faucet.

Another benefit is that if these automatic faucets haven’t been in use for 24 hours, they will automatically turn on and flush the system for 30 seconds. This routine flushing will help prevent bacterial growth and the stagnation of water in pipes. This is especially helpful when families are out of town for several days. In that case, the automatic flush feature activates every 24 hours, which will help reduce any contaminants in the drinking water.

The intent is to install the automatic hands-free faucets in 20 units at Urlas AFH as a test. As each Urlas housing unit has its own metering system, the water consumption savings can be easily measured for every housing unit. This will make it possible to compare the water usage of a unit with the automatic faucet to a unit without it, giving valuable information about the water consumption savings.

So, if you live in Army Family Housing and you’re interested in having one of these new faucets installed in your bathroom, then volunteer and contact the Environmental Management Division by calling one of the following three numbers: 09802-83-3422 / 2994 / 2158. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

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