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Construction and Property Services Company Wates Group Slashes Water Use with Propelair® Toilets

The Wates Group, the privately owned UK construction, development and property services company, has reduced water use by 87% at its headquarters as a result of installing a system by Propelair®, the UK designer and manufacturer of the world’s lowest-water-flush toilet.

Image Credit: Wates Group

Since replacing its standard toilets with Propelair’s water-efficient toilet in May 2016, the company has improved its Leatherhead building’s efficiency and significantly reduced its overall water usage, by around 5.3 million litres each year – equivalent to filling a bathtub 51 times every single day of the year.

This water saving has also lowered the group’s carbon footprint. Compared to before, Wates is now saving 5,538 kg of carbon a year – as much energy as using 226 propane cylinders for barbeques, or about 13,700 miles driven by car.

Besides the environmental benefits, Wates has achieved operational cost savings – the 27 Propelair toilets paid for themselves in just 33 months.

Dr Zainab Dangana, who manages Wates Sustainable Technology Services, said: “Wates is committed to becoming a zero-carbon organisation by 2025, and using innovative technologies like the Propelair system is an important part of helping us reach that target. Propelair is now one of 65 Innovation Partners featured in our WIN portal, an online, free to use, innovation portal to boost the transition to Net Zero.

“Toilets usually consume more water than anything else in an office. So Propelair toilets were installed, replacing all conventional toilets in our head office and have reduced our water consumption by 87%. They helped us cut our water and sewage bills, too. Plus, our washrooms now present a lower infection risk from germs and viruses.”

The savings and benefits have been so significant that Wates plans to use Propelair toilets in other buildings and construction projects in future.

“We are delighted to have helped Wates Group to reduce its water use and I am excited to know they are applying our water-saving system to other sites and projects in future,” said David Hollander, CEO of Propelair, previously MD of Dyson UK.

Wates Group water-saving in numbers

  • Number of days the buildings are in use: 245 days per year
  • Number of toilets: 27
  • Average number of flushes per day/toilet: 83
  • Number of flushes per year: 549,045
  • Previous litres of water flushed in a year: 6,149,304 (Water savings per year with Propelair: 5,325,737 litres)
  • Financial savings: £13,633.89 per year

Propelair combines just 1.5 litres of water with a high-speed jet of air to leave the pan super-clean in one flush. The closed lid improves hygiene by reducing airborne germs such as COVID-19 by up to 95% (while standard toilets can reduce airborne germs by up to 80%). The patented technology brings big savings in water, energy and cost to out-of-home venues, where toilets can be flushed hundreds of times daily.

Using on average 84% less water than standard toilets, Propelair’s growing list of c200 commercial and public-sector customers are saving nearly 1 billion litres a year – enough to fill about 350 Olympic pools, while benefiting from enhanced green credentials. Propelair’s technology reduces water and sewage bills so much that the toilet pays for itself in under three years in most cases. Payback in busier sites can be achieved in months.

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