Water Conservation Behind Bars

East County jails install new plumbing that will save millions of gallons of water.

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    New plumbing at two east county jails is estimated to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in water costs.

    High-efficiency plumbing was recently installed at George Bailey and East Mesa county jails. The biggest savings is with the toilets.

    They're now on a control system which restricts how often they're flushed. Plus, they're low flow toilets. Only one gallon of water will be used per flush, instead of the usual four gallons. Shower heads were also converted to a lower flow.

     "We were able to reduce the cost of utilities roughly 300-thousand dollars," said Brian Sampson, the Director of Support Services. "The overall affect is a 20 percent reduction in our budget."

    The kitchen, laundry facilities and in-cell sinks have also been changed for greater conservation. County officials say these changes will save some eight million gallons of water per month.