Bathrooms districtwide received an upgrade this summer when Flushometer sensors were added to all the college’s toilets and urinals. At the Pierce Puyallup campus alone, about 125 sensors were installed. The cost for these self-flushing toilets is estimated at $17,000.
“It’s an investment, but this is the first step in retrofitting the bathroom facilities,” Director of Facilities and Operations Jim Taylor said.
The Flushometers purpose is to automatically flush the toilets and urinals without any manual effort on the operator’s part. When a person comes within a designated range of a toilet or urinal with the Flushometer sensor, the motion is picked up by an invisible beam of light that the sensor projects.
When the person steps out of the motion sensor beam, the Flushometer flushes the toilet or urinal.
“This is a way to ensure that we’re maintaining effective sanitary conditions in restrooms,” Taylor said.
Before the Flushometers, some toilets and urinals weren’t being flushed after every use.
“(People) would continue to use and not flush the urinals until the smell would sometimes be unbearable,” custodian Tom Mclean said. “This problem would magnify greatly when it would not be flushed during the weekend and the urinal would ferment into a cornucopia of ammonia-smelling repulsion.”
While the urinals have succeeded in improving sanitary conditions in the bathroom, the toilets have been met with less approval.
“They tend to flush repeatedly when no one is around, wasting lots of water and sometimes they don’t seem to flush at all,” Mclean said. “Still others flush while you are still utilizing the toilet. Overall, I don’t like the insta-flush toilets.”
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