April 11, 2016

The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) is pleased to announce the publication of the Phase 2.1 supplemental report on the drainline transport of solid waste in building drains. The Phase 2.1 report details the findings from additional work the Coalition was able to conduct using remaining funds carried over from the PERC 2.0 research study. The Drainline Transport of Solid Waste in Buildings – Phase 2.0 was originally released in September of 2015. The PERC 2.1 findings appear as a new appendix to the PERC 2.0 report, and the combined reports are available for download free of charge on the PERC website: http://www.plumbingefficiencyresearchcoalition.org. 

PERC was formed in 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop research projects that support the development of water efficiency and sustainable plumbing products, systems, and practices. PERC identified drainline transport as its first research project. The six members of the coalition are represented by: Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Billy Smith, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE); Peter DeMarco, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Fred Grable, International Code Council (ICC); Michael Copp, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC); and Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

The Phase 2.1 supplemental report focuses on two previously unaddressed areas of study — the implications surrounding dual flush toilet discharge patterns, comparing results to single volume flush toilets of comparable flush volume, and on the impact of drainline slope deviations on the transport of solid waste.

“The PERC Phase 2.1 provides new and useful information for the plumbing trades, engineers, designers, code officials, water efficiency experts, and manufacturers,” said IAPMO’s DeMarco, who acted as technical director for all of the PERC drainline transport studies.

For More Information Contact:
Barbara C. Higgens – bhiggens@safeplumbing.org
Billy Smith – bsmith@aspe.org

Charles R. White – white@naphcc.org
Fred Grable – fgrable@iccsafe.org
Mary Ann Dickinson – maryann@a4we.org
Pete DeMarco – pete.demarco@iapmo.org

September 28, 2015

PERC releases the The Drainline Transport of Solid Waste in Buildings – Phase 2.0 report

Chicago (Sept. 28, 2015) — The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) is pleased to announce that the report, The Drainline Transport of Solid Waste in Buildings – Phase 2.0, has been released and is now available on the PERC website: http://www.plumbingefficiencyresearchcoalition.org. The study builds on the findings of the Phase 1 report of the same title and provides new and important insights into the performance of building drains as water flows are incrementally reduced as a result of water efficiency related regulations.

Background: PERC was formed in 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop research projects that support the development of water efficiency and sustainable plumbing products, systems, and practices. PERC identified drainline transport as its first research project. The six members of the coalition are represented by Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Billy Smith, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), Peter DeMarco, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Lee Clifton, International Code Council (ICC); Gerry Kennedy, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC); and Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

The PERC Phase 2.0 report addresses several important areas of study that were not included in the Phase 1 effort. Importantly, the study evaluates the potential for a sanitary pipe size reduction to improve drainline transport characteristics and help to facilitate further flow reductions in plumbing fixtures. As with the Phase 1 report, the study applies to commercial building drains, as they present the greatest risk for chronic blockages resulting from water flow reductions.

The PERC Phase 1 study was both informative and influential. In 2013, the U.S. EPA cited the report’s findings that high efficiency toilets (HETs) flushing at a maximum of 1.28 gallons per flush provided satisfactory drainline transport as justification to move forward with a WaterSense specification for commercial HETs and flushometer-valves.

“The PERC Phase 2.0 study goes further,” said IAPMO’s Pete DeMarco, who again acted as the technical director for the Phase 2.0 study.

Phase 2.0 provides insights regarding conditions that can trigger a tipping point where incremental flow reductions are increasingly likely to result in chronic drain blockages in commercial buildings. The findings also detail the surprising significance of toilet paper in drainline transport, relative to other variable factors such as drainline slope, pipe diameter, and toilet flush volume levels.

“PERC feels that the Phase 2.0 report will provide new and valuable insights to the engineering community, plumbing trades, facility managers, and regulators regarding the continued efficacy of sanitary building drains as we seek to make our plumbing systems as efficient as possible while maintaining health and safety,” DeMarco said.

PERC plans to publish a supplemental report, PERC Phase 2.1, early in 2016. The supplemental report will provide a preliminary investigation on the impact of dual flush toilet discharges and slope deviations on drainline transport efficacy.

For More Information Contact:
Barbara C. Higgens – bhiggens@safeplumbing.org
Billy Smith – bsmith@aspe.org
Charles R. White – white@naphcc.org
Lee Clifton – lclifton@iccsafe.org
Mary Ann Dickinson – maryann@a4we.org
Pete DeMarco – pete.demarco@iapmo.org

July 18, 2013

Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) Announces the Publication of the Work Plan Proposal for Phase 2 Drain Line Transport Study.

CHICAGO (July18, 2013) – The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) has announced its intention to launch a Phase 2 study, building upon the results of its successful and much-anticipated Drainline Transport Study.

While the initial study released in November 2012 provided important insights, it also raised new questions, providing an opportunity for further research. Phase 2 will be focused on the following research areas: Pipe Size Reduction, Additional Flush Volume Levels, Toilet Discharge and Toilet Paper Characteristics.

Phase 2 of this study will cost approximately $160,000, a significant increase over the approximately $70,000 used to complete Phase 1. The reasons for this increase are detailed in the full Work Plan Proposal, along with an accompanying FAQ document, both available on the PERC website. The coalition seeks comments from all interested parties on the Work Plan Proposal. Comments can be sent directly to Pete DeMarco, who will again act as the technical director for Phase 2, at the email address shown below.

In addition, PERC is seeking ongoing funding support from all stakeholders — water utilities, manufacturers, contractors, plumbing engineers, and other NGO’s — especially those entities that are helping to incentivize further reductions in toilet consumption levels.

“It is critical that all stakeholders support such a pivotal scientific investigation that could help determine the consumption levels at which significant blockages are more likely to occur,” DeMarco said. “It is truly essential to the future proper function of our plumbing systems that our industry should invest in this invaluable research.”

The six members of the coalition are represented by Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Jim Kendzel, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), Pete DeMarco, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Shawn Martin, International Code Council (ICC); Gerry Kennedy, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC); and Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

Download pdf: PERC Press Release 7-18-13

November 26, 2012

Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) Releases Long-Anticipated Results of Drainline Transport Study

Chicago, Ill. (November 26, 2012) — The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) is pleased to announce that the long-anticipated study, The Drainline Transport of Solid Waste in Buildings, has been released and is now available on the PERC Website: http://www.plumbingefficiencyresearchcoalition.org. The study provides important insights into the performance of building drains and addresses opportunities for future research.

PERC was formed in January 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop research projects that support the development of water efficiency and sustainable plumbing products, systems and practices. Projects are financed through government grants, foundations and private financing. The Coalition is comprised of industry organizations seeking to conduct much-needed research in a number of areas. PERC identified drainline transport as its first research project.

The six members of the coalition are represented by Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Jim Kendzel, American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), Pete DeMarco, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Jay Peters, International Code Council (ICC); Gerry Kennedy, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC); and Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

“It’s critically important that we gain a better understanding of how building drains perform as flows from plumbing fixtures, appliances and commercial equipment are reduced and toilet fixtures become increasingly stressed to singularly transport solid waste to sewers.  This study identifies the controllable variables in the building drain system, such as slope, flush volume, toilet paper selection and toilet discharge attributes, and examines their relative significance on performance.” says DeMarco, who acted as the technical director for the study.

After the parameters of the project were defined, the coalition began seeking funding. In January 2011, PERC signed a MOU with the Australasian Scientific Review of Reduction of Flows on Plumbing and Drainage Systems Committee (ASFlow) at the offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The MOU details several areas of collaboration between the groups to ensure that research efforts are not duplicated and that information and results are shared. ASFlow has also studied the impact of reduced water flow in sanitary drainage systems.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires that all water closets (toilets) manufactured in or imported into the United States flush using no more than a maximum average of 1.6 U.S. gallons (6.0 Liters). This change was made without assessing the impact on drainline transport. After this law went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, new models were introduced, with a significant number of consumers reporting poor flush performance. Initial research focused on flush efficacy, not the transport of that waste through drainline systems built using common designs and materials. Toilet manufacturers have since made improvements in flushing performance for 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf), 1.28 gpf, 1.0 gpf and 0.8 gpf products. In light of changes to further reduce water consumption, the coalition felt there was a need to better understand the function of drainlines, how these systems perform, and which controllable variables impact performance.

Download pdf: PERC Press Release 11-26-12

February 22, 2011

ASPE Joins Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC)

ASPE Joins PERC

Shown left to right at the recent Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony in Chicago are: Mary Ann Dickinson, President and CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency; Jim Kendzel, Executive Director and CEO of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers; and Barbara C. Higgens, Executive Director of Plumbing Manufacturers International.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (FEBRUARY 22, 2011) — The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) is pleased to welcome the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) as the sixth member of the group. PERC was founded in 2009 to develop research projects that will support the development of water efficiency and sustainable plumbing products, systems and practices. Projects will be financed through government grants, foundations and private financing.

Representing ASPE, the newest coalition member, is Jim Kendzel, Executive Director/CEO. The five charter member organizations are represented by Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Pete De Marco, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Jay Peters, International Code Council (ICC); Gerry Kennedy, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC); and Barbara Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

According to Kendzel, “The ASPE Board unanimously approved moving forward with joining the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition and signing the MOU and Research Project agreement. The objectives of the Coalition are consistent with ASPE’s desire to provide the plumbing engineer community information that helps them to design plumbing systems that are environmentally sound while also protecting public health.” He thanked the Coalition on behalf of the ASPE Board of Directors for inviting ASPE to participate in this important industry effort.

Reflecting the sentiment of the Coalition, PMI’s Higgens responded, “PERC will be greatly enhanced through ASPE’s participation. Welcome aboard!”

PERC was formed in January 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Coalition is comprised of industry organizations seeking to conduct much-needed research in a number of areas. PERC has identified drainline transport as its first research project. IAPMO’s DeMarco serves as project coordinator for this inaugural research study and also chairs the technical committee assigned to the project assigned to the project. Each of the member associations of PERC has named a representative to this committee.

With the parameters of the project now defined the organization is now seeking funding. In January 2011, PERC signed a MOU with the Australasian Review of Reduction of Flows on Plumbing and Drainage Systems Committee (AS Flow) at the offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The MOU details several areas of collaboration between the groups to ensure that research efforts are not duplicated and that information and results are shared. AS Flow is also investigating the impact of reduced water flow in sanitary drainage systems, resulting from reduced water use from plumbing fixtures and fittings, appliances and commercial and institutional equipment.

Download pdf: PERC-Press-Release-02-22-2011

 

November 29, 2010

USA’s Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) and The Australasian Scientific Review of Reduction of Flows on Plumbing and Drainage Systems (ASFlow) to Sign MOU at EPA Headquarters

PERC and ASFlow Sign MOUCHICAGO, ILLINOIS (NOVEMBER, 2010) — On December 3, 2010 the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) and the Australasian Scientific Review of Reduction of Flows on Plumbing and Drainage Systems (ASFlow) Committee will sign an historic MoU at US EPA headquarters in Washington DC.

Both organizations are working on research programs that seek to investigate the impact of reduced water flows in sanitary drainage systems resulting from reductions in water use from plumbing fixtures and fittings, appliances and commercial and institutional equipment.

The need to conduct this research is profound. Many plumbing experts are concerned that we are at or approaching a “tipping point” where a significant number of sanitary waste systems will be adversely affected by drainline transport problems, especially in larger commercial systems that have long horizontal drain lines to the sewer. In fact, the US EPA’s WaterSense™ incentive labeling program is holding off on developing a specification for High Efficiency Commercial Toilets pending research in the area of drain line transport.

The MoU details several areas of collaboration to ensure that research efforts are not duplicated and that information and research results are shared between the two organizations. In addition, the MoU calls for both organizations to interact internationally with standards developing organizations and other researchers for the betterment of global water efficiency efforts.

Jeffrey Clark of the South Australian Water Corporation and Chair of the ASFlow Committee and Peter DeMarco of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical OfficialsSigning the MoU for ASFlow will be Jeffrey Clark of the South Australian Water Corporation and Chair of the ASFlow Committee, and for PERC, Peter DeMarco of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Chair of the PERC Technical Committee.

“This is the first MoU that we are aware of that calls for international collaboration on water efficiency research efforts” says DeMarco. “We can learn a great deal from our interactions with ASFlow and being able to develop our efforts building upon their knowledge and experience will be extremely important for PERC.”

PERC has recently developed a low cost work plan for investigating reduced flows in drainage systems, with input from ASFlow, and is seeking funding to conduct their research program. PERC is hopeful that their program will receive funding and that work will commence in 2011.

Download pdf: PERC-Press-Release-11-29-2010

February 18, 2009

Newly-Named ‘Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition’ (PERC) Identifies Drainline Transport as First Joint Project

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (FEBRUARY 2009) — The newly-named Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC), formed last month through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), has identified Drainline Transport as its first research project. The Coalition is comprised of five industry organizations seeking to conduct much-needed research in a number of areas. Representing the Coalition on the initial conference call to establish the first project were: Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE); Pete De Marco, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); Jay Peters, International Code Council (ICC); Ike Casey, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC); and Barbara Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

IAPMO’s Pete DeMarco will serve as project coordinator for this inaugural research study and will also chair the Technical Committee assigned to the project. Each of the five member associations of PERC has named a representative to this committee. The first order of business is to define the parameters of the project.With the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, all water closets (toilets) manufactured in or imported into the United States were required to flush no more than a maximum average of 1.6 US gallons, effective January 1, 1994 for residential models and January 1, 1997 for all models. At that time, concern for drainline transport efficacy was voiced by many in the plumbing trade and those in various professional associations. However, early reporting and research on 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) water closet models focused primarily on the flush efficacy of the various water closet models on the market in response to significant consumer complaints about poor flush performance. Intermittent and anecdotal complaints of drainline transport problems were not thoroughly researched and largely attributed to older or faulty sanitary drain lines. Since then, water closet manufacturers have made great strides in improving flushing performance.

Recently, the need to find additional efficiencies on water consuming plumbing fixtures has resulted in the creation of voluntary specifications that eliminate another 20% from the flush discharge volume of water closets, bringing consumption down to a maximum average of 1.28 gpf. These toilets are known as High Efficiency Toilets (HETs). Some water closet manufacturers are now voluntarily offering models that flush at 1.0 gpf. This activity has rightfully raised the debate of drainline carry efficacy anew. Many plumbing experts are concerned that we are at or approaching a “tipping point” where a significant number of sanitary waste systems will be affected by drainline transport problems, especially in larger commercial systems that have long horizontal runs to the sewer. Recently, drainline transport problems in Europe and Australia have been reported, further raising concerns.

Looking forward, newer technologies, such as non-water consuming and High Efficiency urinals (HEUs), lower flow rate faucets and increasingly efficient water consuming appliances will further reduce the amount of water discharged into sanitary waste systems. Grey water reuse systems, a system that collects discharged water from lavatory basins, clothes washers, bathtubs and shower fixtures for reuse, usually for irrigation purposes, is another emerging technology that significantly reduces waste water in residential sanitary drainage systems. Yet, to date, an extensive research project of sufficient scope to be able to determine if significant problems could arise regarding drain line transport has yet to be conducted.

The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition was founded to develop research projects that will support the development of water efficiency and sustainable plumbing products, systems and practices. Projects will be financed through government grants, foundations and private financing.

Download pdf: PERC-Press-Release-02-18-2009

January 6, 2009

Groups Work Together on Water Efficiency Research

Memorandum of Understading Signing

Photo (L to R): Carole Baker, AWE; Pete DeMarco, IAPMO; Sarah Yerkes, ICC; Allen Inlow, IAPMO; Mary Ann Dickinson, AWE; Jack Krecek, PMI; Administrator Stephen Johnson, EPA; Kevin Tindall, PHCC Member; Assistant Administrator Ben Grumbles, EPA; and Ike Casey, PHCC.

(Washington, D.C. – Jan. 6, 2009) Five national organizations are joining forces in a historic partnership to further research into water efficiency in plumbing. These organizations with expertise in water efficiency and plumbing will develop research programs to assist in the development and use of water efficient plumbing. The research will cover efficient and sustainable products, systems and practices.

“New developments and improvements in water efficiency technology depend on credible research results,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Today’s ground-breaking agreement helps ensure that plumbing stakeholders join forces to analyze important water efficiency issues.”

“By joining forces the organizations can better use their resources to advance water efficiency research in areas where there is a common interest and need,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the organization leading the partnership. “Initial projects being considered for research are high efficiency toilet drainage, water re-use systems, non-water consuming urinals, and sizing of water efficient plumbing systems. We want to make sure that as we move forward with changes in water efficiency requirements, those changes are based on solid research in the field.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today by all parties formalizes the agreement reached on conducting the research projects, and took more than a year to negotiate. The five groups that are part of the agreement are:

  • Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • International Code Council
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors Association
  • Plumbing Manufacturers Institute

More information on the MOU: http://www.a4we.org

Download pdf: EPA_MOU_Press_Release_09-01-06

January 6, 2009 MOU Signing Quotes

ALLIANCE FOR WATER EFFICIENCY (AWE)

Mary Ann Dickinson, Executive Director of AWE:

“The Alliance for Water Efficiency is pleased to be able to participate in this historic unity of the nation’s plumbing organizations on the subject of water efficiency research. By joining forces, we can collectively better use our resources to advance water efficiency research in areas where there is a common interest and need. We want to make sure that as we move forward with changes in water efficiency requirements, those changes are based on solid research in the field.”

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PLUMBING AND MECHANICAL OFFICIALS (IAPMO)

Russ Chaney, Executive Director of IAPMO:

“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding provides the plumbing industry with an exciting opportunity to come together and conduct research projects that will help achieve meaningful water and energy efficiencies. In light of our nation’s current economic crisis, it is now more important than ever to bring all of the best minds together and align our efforts so that we can develop research programs that take all of our stakeholder interests into account.”

INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL (ICC)

Rick Weiland, Chief Executive Officer of ICC:

“With the new administration’s desire to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, environmental concerns pertaining to water efficiency, and the development of the latest technology, this MOU is the perfect opportunity to provide timely real‐world research to sensibly accomplish these goals. This initiative is in perfect alignment with our members’ objectives.”

Jay Peters, Executive Director, Plumbing & Mechanical Activities of ICC:

“Over the last 10 years, our members have been intimately involved in developing energy conservation and plumbing codes that enhance public safety while saving valuable resources. ICC’s plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas (PMG) membership is proud to be a member of this coalition representing their industry.”

PLUMBING, HEATING AND COOLING CONTRACTORS – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (PHCC)

Kevin Tindall, a member plumbing contractor from New Jersey:

“The plumbers are on the firing line when new technologies come to market. It is in our best interest to make sure they are truly effective, because if they aren’t, we will be the ones the customers call. We are proud to support this important effort to conserve water and energy in our communities.”

PLUMBING MANUFACTURERS INSTITUTE (PMI)

Jay Krecek, Board Director of PMI:

“On behalf of the members of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute and the Board of Directors, I am pleased to express our enthusiasm for the formation of this important research coalition.

This Memorandum of Understanding formalizes the working relationship that we have already built with the various signatories of the document and it will strengthen that relationship around our common goals. The result will be much‐needed research in the area of water efficiency, public safety, and product performance.”

Barbara Higgens, Executive Director of PMI:

“Water efficiency forms the first tenet of the PMI mission statement, which is: To promote the water efficiency, health, safety and quality of plumbing products while maximizing consumer choice and value in a fair and open marketplace.

Water is critical to our future. Together, we will work to encourage the wise use of this precious element.

PMI is delighted to be a part of this important coalition.”

Download pdf: MOU_Signing_Event_Quotes_09-01-06