Helen Schofield – Huddersfield Bus Station Manager
Over 33,000 people use Metro’s Huddersfield bus station making it the busiest in West Yorkshire. Having seen the improvements that had been achieved at Dewsbury bus station, Metro specified 9 ES4 WCs and 6 Airflush urinals for Huddersfield bus station, which were installed in February 2009.
The washroom refurbishment was carried out to resolve a number of maintenance issues. Bus Station Manager Helen Schofield said: “The previous toilets were getting blocked regularly and we had to call out a maintenance contractor to unblock them about once a month. This was costing upwards of £100 per time and causing inconvenience to passengers. We were also struggling to eliminate odour problems”.
As part of Metro’s environment and sustainability policies, saving water was also a priority. The organisation’s nearby Dewsbury bus station proved a useful test-bed for potential water-saving technologies. In 2007 Dewsbury installed Green Building Store’s ES4 water efficient WCs and the Airflush urinals in its washroom facilities and the resulting water and cost savings have been subsequently carefully monitored and proven. The ES4 WC offers ultra low 4 litre flush combined with a robust siphon flush mechanism, meaning that the toilets will never leak water down the pan, unlike low flush WCs using valve flush mechanisms. The ES4 uses a Swedish-designed toilet pan, specially designed to work effectively with low flush volume, and is WRAS-approved. The Airflush urinal offers a revolutionary waterless system, which also does not require consumables, cartridges or oils. Instead it combines an ergonomically designed urinal bowl with a small integral low wattage fan, which creates negative pressure, maintaining a gentle flow of air down the urinal bowls and removing all odour.
The results have been dramatic. Over the year since installation, Huddersfield bus station has cut its water consumption by 38%, saving over £6.5K on water bills in the first year. There has also been an instant improvement of the odour problem caused by the previous urinals thanks to the new Airflush urinals. Most impressively there have been no routine toilet blockages in the year since the ES4s have been installed and Helen can recollect only having to call the emergency maintenance contractor out once to deal with a blockage in the period (when someone had deliberately blocked a toilet with a large object). Emergency washroom maintenance costs have reduced at Huddersfield bus station by 79% (£949.84) in the year since installation. In addition Helen has reported that none of the toilets or toilet seats have had to be replaced due to vandalism, in the year since they were installed.
Total cost savings made by Huddersfield bus station are therefore in the region of £7.5K per annum, which means that the initial cost of purchase of the water-saving products has easily been paid back by savings in water and maintenance bills within the first year of installation.
Helen Schofield said: “Installing ES4 WCs and Airflush urinals has been an excellent move forward for Huddersfield bus station. As well as saving money and time we have eliminated the washroom maintenance problems we were encountering. I would definitely recommend them to other station managers and PTEs as a good all round solution for washroom facilities”.
In addition to Dewsbury and Huddersfield bus stations, Green Building Store’s ES4 WC and Airflush urinal have also recently been installed at Metro’s Halifax bus station.
- 38% water savings
- £6551.26 cut in water bill per annum (compared to previous 12 months)
- £949.84 cut in emergency maintenance call-out bill per annum (compared to previous 12 months)
- Annual total cost savings = £7.5K
- Cost of water-saving products from Green Building Store = £4K
Notes and assumptions
- Water charges = approximately £2.50 per m3 of water (source: Yorkshire Water)
- 2620.50 m3 water saved in the 12 months since installation (compared to previous 12 months). Water costs calculated 2620.50 X £2.50 = £6551.26
- Emergency washroom maintenance in year preceding installation (April 2008 – March 2009) = £ 1,190
- Emergency washroom maintenance in year since installation (March 2009 – present) = £240.16
- Cost of water-saving products from Green Building Store £4078.67. This price does not include VAT or installation costs.