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January 11, 2008

Information on how residents can conserve water during the drought will be a focal point at this year’s Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival being held Jan. 19-20 at Al Lopez Park in Tampa.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will promote water conservation and Florida-friendly landscaping with its water-conserving restroom at the annual event.

“Because the area is experiencing a severe drought, water conservation is even more crucial,” said Melissa Roe, project manager for the District. “The water-conserving restroom station is a practical and effective tool to share information about the drought and what community-minded people can do to make a difference.”

The restroom trailer features the District’s new “Reduce Your Use” water conservation campaign and Florida-friendly landscaping tips through displays and free materials. It also features six private air-conditioned half baths with water conservation features, running water, lights, mirrors and a bathroom attendant who will keep the stalls clean and stocked.

The main focus of the restroom station, which is a cleaner alternative to some bathrooms found at large events, is water conservation. The restroom trailer uses a water filtration and circulation system, similar to the systems used on airplanes, to reuse the water from the sink drains in the toilet tanks. In addition, the water used in the toilets is filtered and chemically treated then returned to the toilets’ tanks. This filtration system allows the water conservation restroom trailer to use just 10 percent of the water needed for a standard restroom trailer.

The water conservation restroom station began as a pilot program in the Pinellas-Anclote River Basin. The project is now funded by all of the Basins within the District, including the Hillsborough River Basin which includes portions of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties.

For additional information on the drought, water restrictions or water conservation tips, visit the District’s web site at

Southwest Florida Water Management District home page

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