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Eurovac - Vacuum Drainage Technology

Vacuum Drainage Technology - EVAC Vacuum Toilet System - EVAC Systems - EVAC Toilets - Applications & Advantages

Applications & Advantages

The building sector has been slow to move to vacuum drainage technology, but with the confines placed on new projects such as small conduit and service ducts and the growing awareness of the need to limit water consumption, the system is now finding a place in the building sector. As the system is capable of lifting sewage from appliances such as WCs and running in voids above these appliances, the system offers the designer a greater flexibility and freedom to position appliances where most suitable for the building.

The EVAC Vacuum Toilet System could not be simpler. Instead of relying on traditional solutions which use the principle of gravity to remove waste and are heavily reliant on the location of services cores and outgoing sewer connections, the EVAC system creates a powerful vacuum to flush the toilet which works like this...

Once the flush button is pushed, a pneumatic signal is sent to the control mechanism which opens the discharge valve by allowing vacuum from the pipework system to enter the discharge valve diaphragm, thus connecting the bowl to the vacuum system. Air at atmospheric pressure then forces sewage through the discharge valve and into the piping. Simultaneously, the water valve is opened and pressurised rinse water cleans the bowl. The whole operation is performed using just vacuum – NO electrical connections are required.

EVAC toilets can be re-flushed more than 4 times faster than conventional gravity toilets; on average, an EVAC toilet will take 5 seconds to complete a flush cycle as there is no toilet cistern to refill. EVAC systems also reduce leakage problems. The problem of leakage due to pipe fracture is reduced – as a vacuum exits throughout the system, any leakage is directed inward rather than outward.

Whilst the EVAC vacuum toilet is an integral part of the system, the system will also accept waste from all other gravity fixtures, including wash basins, baths and showers using a Vacuum Interface Valve which is similar in operation to the EVAC vacuum toilet. The manually operated push button is replaced by an activator which is triggered when a static head has been built up in the grey water tank. The whole operation is automatic and, once again, no electrical connections are required. The valves allow standard bathroom fittings to be connected to the vacuum drainage system in new build projects and eliminates the need to replace existing fittings in a refurbishment project.

EVAC gives the building designer complete freedom from the restrictions of gravity fed plumbing. Bathrooms and toilets do not need to be tied into a services core, but can be located where best suits the design.

Increased Design Flexibility

EVAC toilets can be installed just about anywhere in a building. Pipes are small bore (normally 50-75mm) and can be routed around and even over obstructions. As they are not reliant on the locations of service cores and do not need vent stacks, design flexibility is maximised. Anywhere you can imagine an EVAC toilet system in the design of your new build or refurbishment project, it can be achieved.

EVAC systems are not dependent on gravity therefore waste pipes do not need to slope downwards. This means that EVAC toilets can flush along the level – even upwards when downward flushing is inconvenient. This opens up a wealth of design opportunities, especially in refurbishment, extensions and retro-fit projects.

EVAC systems give vertical lift of up to 5m, giving unparalleled flexibility in installation. Toilet cubicles, urinals, showers and hand basins can be positioned wherever you want, regardless of conventional soil stack practice. As there is no need to be adjacent to a central soil stack, the location of toilet accommodation can vary from floor to floor.

In speculative buildings, a prospective tenant will often wish to plan the space available in a building to suit its business operation. The EVAC system gives you this extra capability. Final decisions on the floor plan can be delayed leaving maximum room to manoeuvre and giving the client maximum flexibility to plan space.

Health & Hygiene

Unlike conventional toilets which permit bacteria and odours to enter the atmosphere, the EVAC toilet takes out up to 100 litres of air on each flush, removing viruses, bacteria and odours from the bowl and into the system. This cycle of air will keep the toilet accommodation fresh, enhancing hygiene and personal comfort within washrooms. As the complete pipe work system is held under a vacuum, it is impossible for infestations or rats to live and breed in the drainage. Every EVAC system, when installed, is a closed loop. This is particularly important where an organisation requires waste to be contained if contamination is considered high risk e.g. hospitals, research facilities and prisons.

Water Savings & Energy Consumption

Water and energy consumption will be dependent on the size, type and use of the building and its vacuum drainage system. EVAC systems are very environmentally friendly – one of the biggest savings on natural resources is the dramatic reduction in water consumption. A conventional toilet consumes between 4.5 and 6 litres of water every time it is flushed. The EVAC toilet typically uses just over one litre of water per flush – 1/6 of that used by a conventional toilet. Using less water will bring significant cost savings as water rates rise and as EVAC toilets have very low water consumption, the actual amount of sewage produced is also reduced, helping to ease the burden on overloaded public sewage plants. Vacuum retention tanks can also be discharged during off-peak periods.

Total Water Cycle

When considering a vacuum toilet system and comparing it against a gravity system you must compare the complete water cycle. There is a saving in both the cost and power by bring less water into your building. If that water has to be stored in the building then the use of vacuum toilets will reduce the size of any storage tanks, freeing up valuable floor space or reducing excavations for underground tanks. If the tanks are to be sited at the top of the building, the structural requirements of the building can also be reduced.

Once your water is in the building, you will have to move the water around it. The larger the building, the more power will be consumed in this process, so the small amount of water that you have to move, the less power you will need to consume.

After the water has been used to flush a toilet it has to be disposed of. In large buildings with conventional gravity toilets, this can mean several sewage pumping stations located around the building to get the sewage from the building into the main sewer. By consuming less water, the vacuum toilet system also produces less sewage. The flexibility of a vacuum drainage system means that all the sewage from the building can be brought back to one location in the building. If the black water is to be treated in house then the lower level of sewage will impact on the size and type of sewage treatment plant required, saving costs, space and energy.

Case Study: Stonehenge Visitor Centre

In 2013 a brand new visitor centre opened at the world heritage site, Stonehenge. Stonehenge and its surroundings bear powerful witness to the once great civilisations of the Stone and Bronze Ages. Its world heritage status requires the government to conserve and share its importance with current and future generations. Today busy roads cut the site off from surrounding monuments and landscapes. Additionally, existing visitor facilities and parking that are close to the stones cause significant visual intrusion at the centre of this world heritage site.

The changes set out to improve facilities on offer to the many hundreds of thousands who visit the site each year and hope to re-establish a sense of dignity to the setting of one of the world’s most popular ancient monuments. These improvements include a new environmentally sensitive visitor centre situated 1.5 miles away from the stones with high quality exhibition and education facilities. The problem was how to lay drains in this very sensitive archaeological area. Design elements have been chosen with sustainability in mind, making EVAC toilets the perfect choice with its low water usage. In addition to this, the flexibility of the EVAC system will allow the centre to be built with minimal excavations or disturbance to the landscape; only one shallow drainage channel will be in place. This is to transport the sewage to an on-site sewage treatment plant where the water will be recycled and once again used to flush the toilets.

These new improved facilities greatly enhance the visitor experience at Stonehenge and EVDS are proud to be a part of history.

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European Vacuum Drainage Systems
Unit 35 Lordswood Industrial Estate Gleamingwood Drive

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Tel: 01634 684 779
Fax: 01634 661 510

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