Saving water a drop at a time

The third flag that schools in the Green School programme can earn is for water conservation.

Scoil Cholmcille estimates that changes to its plumbing have helped to save more than 4,000 litres every day it opens, or enough water to fill four Olympic swimming pools a year.

They installed push taps that limit the amount of water used, and the large urinals that flush automatically only activate a fraction of the times they used to, as well as being switched off at evenings, weekends, and during holidays.

The school also installed flushing systems that mean the cubicle toilets use far less water with each flush.

“We send home tips on water-saving regularly in the school newsletter, for example, telling the boys’ families they use nine litres of water every time they flush a toilet,” said teacher Noreen Guiney, a Green Schools co-ordinator.

“But it’s only when something like the big freeze a couple of years ago comes, and people have to refill the toilets, that they really start to realise how much water it takes.”

Plans for a three-classroom extension include a rainwater harvesting system, which should further cut the water needed for toilets and wash basins.


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