West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University

Team of engineers at Purdue University validate that Sloan’s UPPERCUT dual flush Flushometer can reduce water usage by up to 50%
Talk all you want about how well a product works, but there's nothing like cold, hard data to prove a point and make someone a believer. When Michael Carson, senior mechanical engineer at Purdue University, first heard about UPPERCUT® dual-flush flushometers, he was skeptical.

"We were curious as to whether it would make a difference," Carson remembers thinking when he and his co-horts were offered a chance to test UPPERCUT at Purdue’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Sloan's UPPERCUT dual-flush technology is available as part of a complete Flushometer or in handle retrofit kits for converting existing manual Flushometers to water-efficient dual-flush capability.

The dual-flush handle offers users two flush options: Tilt the handle up to flush with 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf) of water, or push it down for a standard 1.6 gpf flush. Purdue decided initially to retrofit the women’s restrooms in two of its administrative buildings with a total of 12 UPPERCUT dual-flush handles. Carson and his engineering team chose the printing services and telecommunications buildings because both buildings have good historical water-use information, restroom plumbing fixtures are the buildings’ only major water source, and women comprise a high proportion of the buildings populations.

"We suspected that having more women would give us a better chance of seeing a difference" in water usage, Carson explains.
Purdue installed the UPPERCUT dual-flush handles in the women’s restrooms of these two buildings in July 2005. Basic usage instructions are shown on signs, which come with the UPPERCUT handles and are mounted on the women’s restroom stalls.

Carson and his team have closely examined the monthly water-use data from the buildings’ water meters, and the figures tell an interesting before-and-after story.

In the printing services building, water use dropped from an average of 10,228 gallons a month from July 2004 to June 2005 (before the UPPERCUTs) to 5,803 gallons a month from July 2006 to June 2007 (after installation). That equates to about a 43% decrease in water usage.

In the telecommunications building, water use dropped from about 12,229 gallons a month (July 2004-June 2005) to 8,622 gallons (July 2006-June 2007) for a total median decrease of nearly 30%. Some single month-to-month comparisons yield a drop of more than 50%.

"The numbers are straight water meter readings," says Carson. The installation of the UPPERCUT handles was the only change in plumbing fixtures or water usage made during the studied period.

Based on Purdue’s water cost of 91.7 cents per 1,000 gallons and its wastewater cost of $5.34/1,000 gallons, the reduction in utility costs due to the water savings means that the dual-flush handles would pay for themselves in less than a year.