Anup Tripathi, General Manager, Sloan India Private Limited

A seasoned professional with a career spanning over two decades in the building materials industry, Anup Kumar Tripathi is the General Manager, Sloan India Private Limited. Anup joined Sloan India in 2016 and leads India’s business operations to
strengthen Sloan’s brand while growing business across the country. He has implemented some of the most prestigious projects for Sloan across the country. These projects include: Infosys Campus, Bangalore; World Bank, New Delhi; US Embassy, New Delhi; Taj Coromandel, Chennai; KIA Motors showrooms, Pan-India; Lokhandwala International School, Mumbai; and many others. Prior to joining Sloan India, Anup was associated with some of the premium faucet brands in India such as Tropical Industries International, Hindware, and Jaquar and Co. An alumnus of Agra University and Poorvanchal University, he holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management.

Like most technologies, plumbing technology also keeps evolving constantly. But the coronavirus pandemic has imparted a greater momentum in the adoption of innovative plumbing technology. This is particularly driven by the fear of contracting the virus when visiting public washrooms and outdoor facilities. Since COVID-19 has a higher transmission rate, these apprehensions are understandable.

Be it public or private washrooms, however, next-generation plumbing solutions are high on efficiency and low on maintenance. As a result, there are multiple savings in water and other resources. Besides, there are financial savings due to low upkeep and maintenance costs. 

Smart Fixtures

A proper comprehension of smart plumbing systems can help in installing the right fixtures in homes and offices. Consider one of the central elements in plumbing – pipes. Unlike the conventional ones, smart pipes can help users in monitoring water pressure constantly. In case of any leakage or other damage, users will be alerted about the problem. This includes information about where the problem is located. In the case of these issues, smart pipes can help via easy maintenance and speedy repairs.

Hands-free taps and other fixtures are other essential elements in plumbing. Besides, sensor-based faucets can be most useful as water wastage remains minimal, ensuring lower chances of infections and the spread of germs. Simultaneously, such faucets are easy to use and most convenient. Smart faucets ensure automatic water savings since they turn off when movement ceases. Infections are also avoided because users need not touch the taps with unwashed hands. 

Another important element is water heater tanks. Most tanks currently used in homes are not so efficient. In comparison, a tank-less water heating system heats the water almost instantly. As a result, such units can curb carbon footprints of residential and commercial premises where they are installed. These can ensure robust savings on electricity bills. 

Contactless bathroom fixtures and fittings play an essential role in maintaining higher standards of hygiene. During COVID-19, this could be crucial in ascertaining there is minimal disease transmission. Smart fixtures offer other benefits too. For example, a common complaint relates to consumables such as toilet rolls and liquid toilet soap running out without timely replenishment. This is especially true in the case of public washrooms. 

Besides the ensuing embarrassment to users, it can create unhygienic conditions that could cause greater disease transmission. But bespoke smart solutions ascertain such eventualities do not occur. This is because sensors embedded in the smart fixtures alert the cleaning crews as and when supplies are low and refills are required. 

Washbasins are yet another vulnerable area. In the case of conventional washbasins, users first wash their hands. They then move away to where the tissue paper is kept. Considering this scenario, witnessing wet hands dripping water across the floor is a common sight in many washrooms. Apart from the possibility of greater breeding and transmission of bacteria and viruses, wet floors could also be a health hazard. Children, elders and even adults could slip, leading to fractures or other unpleasant consequences. 

All-round Benefits

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, when it comes to avoiding infections, both individual and institutional precautions and hygiene practices must be adhered to for ensuring the safety of users in public washrooms. Aware that the shortcomings in people’s hygiene practices have been contributing to the surge in COVID-19 infections, earlier this year the WHO released specific guidelines on safe handwashing practices to prevent disease transmission.

All such issues can, however, be well managed by using antimicrobial, touch-free fittings and all-in-one washbasins. The latter is an excellent innovation that helps maintain highly-hygienic conditions in public and private washrooms. In this case, the faucet, soap holder, hand dryer and sink basin are designed for working within the single unit that operates as a touch-free system. As all four elements work in tandem at arms-length, greater safety and personal hygiene are maintained at all times. 

Thanks to this wonderful and aesthetically-pleasing design, users can undertake all steps – soaping, rinsing and drying of hands – without moving a foot elsewhere as is required when the hand dryer operates as a distinct unit. Consequently, the chances of any water dripping on washroom floors due to dripping hands are virtually nil. 

The other advantage of high-speed dryers is these dry hands completely in barely 14 seconds while conventional hand dryers take twice or thrice the time. The swift and efficient drying of hands limits the possibility of any user spreading or contracting infections inside public washrooms. 

Best of all, these smart hand dryers come with HEPA filters that can eliminate 99.97% of bacteria and viruses from the ambient air. This is a significant feature since wet palms can spread almost a thousand times the bacteria than dry hands. These touch-free fixtures and plumbing systems also limit upkeep and overall operating costs even while controlling the wastage of soap, water and electricity. 

For instance, a high-speed dryer in commercial washrooms can save a tidy amount annually compared to the manual system of using paper towels and napkins. Additionally, touchless faucets can save considerable money in water bills too, as mentioned earlier. 

Smart plumbing systems also include low-flow faucets. Such touch-free systems help in improving water efficiency in public and private washrooms. Waterless urinals are another resource-and-money saver. Undoubtedly, in the era of COVID-19, smart plumbing systems are saving money, materials and resources as well as safeguarding human health and well-being. 

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