Calumet City, IL

Dirksen Middle School

Sloan High-Efficiency Toilets and Urinals are part of middle school’s award-winning ‘green makeover.’
Everett M. Dirksen Middle School District 149 in Calumet City near Chicago was the grand prize winner of a “green makeover” in an EcoZone Green My School contest. Students and teachers of Dirksen Middle School, a school built in 1966 serving grades 6 through 8, submitted a video on why their school should win a green upgrade.

Over 30 schools throughout Suburban Cook County Regional School District in Illinois submitted entries for the contest sponsored by CBS EcoMedia. Dirksen Middle School was chosen as the grand prize winner because its video demonstrated best overall creative response to the question, “What does it mean to be green?” The school received a “green makeover” with products and services for internal and external green upgrades valued at over $100,000.

One of the highlights of the award-winning makeover was water-efficiency and conservation improvements, including high-efficiency plumbing products from Sloan. Sloan High-Efficiency Toilets (HET) with green-handle UPPERCUT® dual-flush flushometers and Sloan High-Efficiency Urinals (HEU) were installed in all the student and teacher restrooms. These fixtures and fittings are rugged enough for tough student environments, while providing exceptional water savings.

More than 40 older water closet fixtures were replaced with Sloan HET systems, which combine the UPPERCUT dual-flush Flushometers with bowls that are specifically engineered for dual-flush operation. UPPERCUT can reduce water volume by 30%. Pushing the green handle down initiates a full, 1.6 gpf flush for solid waste and paper. Lifting the handle up initiates a reduced flush (1.1 gpf) for liquid and paper. This provides a savings of one-half gallon of water per flush. Easy-to-understand instructions, etched on adhesive-backed metal plates, are included with every UPPERCUT.

In addition, 20 urinal fixtures with manual 1.5 gpf (5.7 Lpf) flushometers were replaced with Sloan HEUs flushing at 0.125 gpf (0.5 Lpf). Sloan HEUs combine the performance of both the fixture and the flush valve to ensure a true, water-efficient system. The system reduces water usage by 88%, resulting in an annual water savings of about 32,000 gallons based on 100 daily uses per fixture.

According to Jim Washausen, supervisor of buildings and grounds for Dolton School District 149, when comparing the school’s 2008 and 2009 water bills for the fourth quarter, he saw a $300 savings. “The benefit is the water bill. The water savings have really helped, especially the way the economy is and the lack of funding to schools,” says Washausen.

Washausen admits the award came just at the right time with the need to start thinking about replacing or updating its 40-year-old plumbing. “The project went very well and was quick. It was completed in less than two weeks,” he says. “I think Sloan has great products. We haven’t had any problems.”

The benefit is the water bill. The water savings have really helped, especially the way the economy is and the lack of funding to schools.

Jim Washausen

Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for District 149