Two experts in sustainable water solutions, Niagara Conservation® and Acualógica, an exclusive importer and distributor for water-saving products, partnered with Costa Rica’s Chirripo National Park to reduce the region’s water footprint and improve visitor experience at the park.
Chirripo National Park welcomes hikers year-round to climb Costa Rica’s highest peak, Cerro Chirripo. At 12,533 feet above sea level, Cerro Chirripo provides accommodations for overnight hikers at its Crestone Base Camp. Prior to 2014, Crestone Base Camp featured 3.5 gallons per flush (GPF) toilets. The older, less than efficient models caused ample leakage and malfunctions that poorly affected visitor experience. To magnify the issue, the septic tank has reached its maximum capacity forcing the camp to reduce visitor capacity from 52 to 40 visitors per night. Additionally, the camp’s water comes from a creek that was experiencing low levels during the summer, therefore authorities of the park wanted to reduce the amount of water extracted.
To remedy this problem, Acualógica installed 20 of Niagara Conservation’s 0.8 GPF Stealth® Single Flush Toilets. Designed using Niagara’s patented Stealth Technology, these ultra-high-efficiency toilets are the lowest volume single flush toilets available in the global market. Stealth Technology involves a remarkable combination of air and water working in unison to help deliver a cleaner and more reliable flush while producing a noticeably quieter flush without residual noise.
The only way to get to Crestone Base Camp is by foot or mule. Once everything was ready for installation, Acualógica hauled more than a ton of material and equipment on mules for nearly 10 hours.
16 Stealth toilets were installed at the base camp, two at the peak’s rest stop and two at the ranger station. In addition to Niagara’s Stealth toilets, Acualógica also installed 20 showerheads and 28 bathroom aerators from Niagara’s UHET Water-Savings Kit.
“At Acualogica, our mission is to reduce Costa Rica’s water footprint and set an example for private and public organizations on how on to conserve water, and contribute to the sustainability of national parks,” said Acualógica’s general manager. “It made the utmost sense to partner with Niagara Conservation as they have gone above and beyond to also serve as a leader in helping to save one of the world’s most valuable resources.”
Water usage before Niagara’s products were installed averaged about 288,212 gallons per year. With Niagara’s products in place, Chirripo National Park reported using 87,705 gallons of water in the one year following the retrofit, which is savings of 200,507 gallons a year.
As a result of the new toilets, the park was able to increase base camp visitor capacity back up to 52, which also translates to significantly more park entries. Furthermore, to date there have been no complaints from authorities or visitors of Chirripo National Park regarding the new toilets. In fact, six other Costa Rican national parks have installed Niagara’s Stealth Toilets as well as numerous environmentally-conscious hotels, restaurants chains, government building, health care facilities, schools, and universities throughout the country. The six hotels and national parks included: Hotel Si Como No, Hotel Arenas Del Mar, Hotel La Posada, Latitute 10 Resort and Carara National Park.