CASE STUDY: Reducing Water Consumption in Gyms and Health Clubs
Gym and health club facilities consume huge amounts of water. According to a study by the University of Minnesota, health club facilities can use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per year for filling swimming pools, for cleaning the facility, for heating and air-conditioning, and — probably most significant — in the restrooms to operate toilets, urinals and showers.
In addition to being a potentially scarce resource, water costs money. Health clubs often must pay staggering utility bills covering water and sewer costs, as well as the costs of heating water.
This means any steps a gym or health club can take to help reduce water consumption not only promotes sustainability and helps ease the demands for water in local communities but can help reduce operating costs.
Realizing this, the Longfellow Clubs, a Boston group of seven sports facilities, has been working for nearly a decade to find ways to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently.
The results of the Longfellow Clubs’ efforts have recently been released; From 2006 to 2013, the group has been able to reduce water consumption in one of its largest clubs from an average of 256,000 gallons of water per month to about 165,600 gallons per month. And it was able to accomplish this reduction with little if any impact on gym users.
These are two of the key steps the group took:
• Replaced all 3.5- to 4-gallon-per-minute showerheads with 2-gallon-per-minute showerheads, resulting in a savings of several hundred thousand gallons of water per year; and
• Replaced all urinals with waterless urinals that save more than 45,000 gallons of water per urinal, per year.
As to the urinals, the Longfellow Clubs investigated various systems from different manufacturers and selected the Waterless No-Flush urinal system.
Waterless Co. has been manufacturing no-water urinal systems for nearly 25 years. In fact, it is the oldest no-water urinal company in the United States. Over these many years, Waterless systems have been tested in gyms, schools, airports, hotels, and other facilities and have proven to not only save thousands of gallons of water per year but help keep restrooms clean and healthy, as well.