“Just Don’t Flush It”

This year’s winning short films were announced Sept. 20 at the Intelligent Use of Water™ Film Competition screening in Beverly Hills, CA. The 2011 Audience Choice Award went to

“Just Don’t Flush It” by Brian McAndrew, North Bend, Oregon – check it out!

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40 Important Ways that Colleges Are Conserving Water

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2011/09/06/40-important-ways-that-colleges-are-conserving-water/

Water is a precious resource, and although it flows freely from the tap, it’s not infinite. Green campus lawns, clean cafeteria plates, and even air conditioned dorms don’t happen without using lots of water. As major institutions, colleges are serious users of water, and although some don’t yet recognize the need to conserve water, many of them do. In fact, college campuses are home to some of the most innovative ideas for water conservation, implementing water management technology, smart conservation policies, and more. Read on to find out about 40 great ways colleges are putting great minds to work on water conservation.

  1. Cal State-LA technology

    Using a wireless water management service, Cal State-LA was able to lower their water bills and reduce water usage by about 27 million gallons in 18 months. The system also saves valuable staff time and adjusts to weather changes, turning off water before it rains.

  2. A new low flow standard

    The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education reports that low flow showerheads and faucets, as well as low water volume toilets and urinals are standard practice for US colleges.

  3. Dual flush toilets

    In addition to low flow toilets, colleges like Harvard are also using dual flush toilets, which allow toilets to use less water unless deemed necessary by their users.

  4. Recycling rooftop rainwater

    Drexel University turns rainwater into a resource rather than waste. Instead of sending it down the pipes to treatment plants, Drexel collects rainwater for non-potable uses, including toilet flushing, landscaping, and gardening.

  5. Cutting back on car washing

    Colleges make use of many vehicles on and off campus, and those vehicles need to be washed, but not frequently. Schools like the University of Washington have cut back on car washing in their motor pools to save water.

  6. Using campus resources

    Large campuses may have access to creeks and wells on their land. At Stanford University, almost 75% of water used for irrigation comes from water sourced on Stanford’s own land.

  7. Going trayless

    Many colleges are ditching trays in their cafeterias, cutting food waste, conserving water, and even keeping the “freshman 15” off new students. At Williams College alone, the college is saving 14,000 gallons of water each year by eliminating trays at one of four campus dining halls.

  8. Landscaping with drought-tolerant plants

    At Saint Mary’s College, drought-tolerant plants have been put in place, including oleander, lavender, and nadina, with drought-tolerant plants making up about 95% of campus plants.

  9. Installing water misers

    Schools like Stanford have made use of water misers on autoclaves in the Medical School and research buildings. Instead of having water running 24 hours a day on the devices, misers sense when the water is needed and when it is not. This measure alone has helped to reduce water usage in these buildings by over 50%.

  10. Educating students

    At UC-Santa Cruz, students arriving on campus will learn about water conservation in their orientation meetings, and the campus offers dorm room usage audits as well.

  1. Removing bottled water

    Instead of allowing bottled water as an option at campus events and at dining facilities, colleges like Harvey Mudd College are selling or providing refillable water bottles to faculty, staff, and students.

  2. Recirculating systems

    Coolers and other equipment using once-through water cooling systems are being replaced with ones that reuse cooled water, saving not only water, but electricity and gas as well.

  3. Water Wise House Call

    At Stanford University, they have recognized that university water usage doesn’t end off campus. Faculty and staff have their impact in private homes as well. With the Water Wise House Call program, the university has been able to manage water usage off campus by providing information and resources to faculty and staff.

  4. The Living Machine

    At Oberlin College, students get involved in wastewater cleaning with The Living Machine. The machine processes wastewater into reusable greywater by relying on natural cleaning methods in wetlands, including plants and bacteria.

  5. Green campus grounds with reclaimed water

    At the University of California Santa Barbara, 90% of campus grounds are kept green using reclaimed water. This water is also used to flush toilets in some buildings. Reclaimed water is wastewater that has undergone a treatment process, but does not meet standards for drinking.

  6. Recycling carpet

    Carpet doesn’t sound like a big water waster, but at Oberlin College, they’ve calculated their savings from recycling carpet. By recycling 177,057 square feet of used carpet, they’ve saved 112,136.1 gallons of water, in addition to 1,227,418,143 BTUs of energy.

  7. Natural thawing

    Some schools previously thawed food using running water. Instead, colleges like Evergreen State have implemented better planning, and are able to thaw all food products naturally without the use of running water.

  8. Leak detection technology

    Some schools employ water conservation technology that includes leak detection, allowing them to identify and correct leaks that exist on campus.

  9. Updated laundry rooms

    Colleges are upgrading to high efficiency front loading washers, and becoming even more energy efficient by using technology that allows them to monitor the status of the machines. At Canisius College, 755,638 gallons of water have been saved since 2006.

  10. I Heart Tap Water

    UC-Berkeley’s I Heart Tap Water campaign promoted tap water as the beverage of choice for the campus. The university credits the campaign’s success to the testing of more than 450 water fountains on campus to ensure water quality. The program has reduced campus usage of plastic water bottles on campus by at least 25%.

  1. Using cisterns

    Colleges are using cisterns to harvest rainwater. At Harford Community College, they capture rooftop runoff in an 80,000 gallon cistern to use in an evaporative cooling tower.

  2. Leak reporting

    Dripping faucets can waste more than 600 gallons a year, and running toilets waste more than 131,000 gallons. On many college campuses, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report any leaks that they see. Doing so can alert the maintenance staff to undiscovered sources of water waste that can be resolved easily.

  3. Hand sanitizer installation

    Duke University and many others have cut down on water used for sanitation purposes by installing hand sanitizers in bathrooms and other common areas. For quick sanitation purposes, a full hand wash using water is not needed, and alcohol-based sanitizer can be used instead.

  4. Smart flushing

    In addition to low flow and dual flush toilets, schools are updating with automatic eye flushers. These toilets flush according to the length of time a person is sitting on it, with a 1.1 gallon flush for less than 65 seconds, and 1.6 for 65 seconds or more.

  5. Laundry education

    Tufts reminds students to practice sustainable laundry techniques. Using a flyer, students are educated on using cold water options for washing clothing.

  6. Increased irrigation ponds

    At Duke University, they are taking advantage of more natural water storage by increasing the size of irrigation ponds on their golf course. This water can be used for toilets, landscaping, and more.

  7. Water free urinals

    Many colleges, including Vanderbilt University, are installing water-free urinals, which do not flush. Instead, the urinals use liquid chemicals and gravity, saving up to 40,000 gallons of water each year.

  8. Water use monitoring

    Enhancing awareness of water usage can help conservation efforts, making those who consume water more careful in their usage. Several colleges, including UC-Santa Cruz, have shared water use data publicly and within their community to spotlight conservation of water.

  9. Watering at night

    At lots of schools, watering was completed manually during the daytime, but more recently, colleges have implemented smart irrigation systems that water during the evening or early morning hours, saving evaporation, as well as overspray.

  10. Native plants

    Colleges like Centralia are switching to native plants, which need less water and maintenance due to their indigenous status.

  1. Rooftop vegetation

    To reduce the passage of rainwater into the sewer system, colleges are installing green roofs, which feature vegetation that consumes a large amount of water before running off. These systems also help to keep the top floor of buildings cooler during hot months, and insulated from cold temperatures and icy winds in the winter.

  2. Reduced power washing

    Everyone likes to see a sparkly clean college, but many schools are recognizing that they don’t need to power wash as often as they have in the past. At the University of Washington, power washing has been reduced to the removal of graffiti and slippery materials only.

  3. Simple reminders

    Using stickers, signs, and other awareness tools, schools are placing simple reminders in high water usage areas, such as busy restrooms. These reminders can help students be mindful about their water usage.

  4. Purchasing Energy Star equipment

    Dishwashers, washing machines, and other water-consuming appliances can make a big difference in water usage, especially on a college sized scale. Schools like Boston College are replacing their old equipment with new, more energy efficient machines, cutting water consumption by 50%.

  5. Updated facilities equipment

    Water cooled compressors, single pass chillers, cooling towers, and more often use water, and not always efficiently. Schools like the University of Washington have identified water wasting equipment and updated them, such as replacing water cooled compressors with air cooled ones.

  6. Drought-tolerant grass

    Schools are adopting the use of grass that doesn’t need to be watered or mowed often. At UC-Davis and UC-Riverside, a new strain of grass, UC-Verde, was created. This grass needs only 25% the amount of water used for typical turf grasses.

  7. On-demand hot water heaters

    Residential buildings may have their hot water heaters upgraded to tankless on demand models. At Dartmouth, these heaters are used to save water while students wait for the water to heat up.

  8. Removing lawn areas

    Maintaining lawn areas typically means keeping up with watering, but at Scripps College, they may not have to deal with it as much. The college is considering removing lawn areas where appropriate, reducing the amount of water needed to maintain campus lawns.

  9. Water coolers and taps

    With the use of water coolers, students, faculty, and staff can fill up reusable containers instead of buying bottled water. Schools like Dartmouth have employed the use of Brita pitchers and point of service units that dispense filtered (and sometimes even flavored) water.

  10. Water recycling washing machines

    At Middlebury College, soiled aprons and chef jackets go through to wash and rinse cycles, which ordinarily would be wasteful. But using a water recycler, the college is able to capture the rinse water for the next wash cycle.

Population growth stirs worries about stress on region’s water supply | ajc.com

 

By Leon Stafford

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When Colin Cavill began planning the 325-unit Enso Atlanta apartments near Grant Park three years ago, water was at the top of his mind.

Colin Cavill focused on water conservation when he developed the Enso Atlanta apartments in Grant Park, which, among other things, has a saltwater pool and a cistern for  rainwater harvesting that holds over 76,000 gallons.

Phil Skinner, AJC Colin Cavill focused on water conservation when he developed the Enso Atlanta apartments in Grant Park, which, among other things, has a saltwater pool and a cistern for rainwater harvesting that holds over 76,000 gallons.

 

Simply put: The metro’s area’s supply is limited, and he didn’t want to make matters worse.

So Cavill — who says his company, Capital 33, wanted to “help reduce our footprint” — developed the complex as a green project. Toilets and faucets are low-flow, shower heads are water-efficient, and a cistern collects water for the landscaping.

Cavill’s efforts may need to be become the norm as the state struggles with its limited water supply, experts say.

Metro Atlanta grew by 1 million people over the past decade, according to the U.S. census, and water — or lack thereof — could decide its continued strength as a region, the experts said.

“Growth goes where the water is and not vice versa,” said Gil Rogers, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Larry Neal, a senior principal for Mactec Engineering and Consulting, which has worked with the state on drinking water assessments, said a solution is critical for job growth. If water supply is stretched thin, it could be more expensive for business to tap. That could dissuade prospects from considering locating in metro Atlanta.

“If there is uncertainty,” he said, “it can cause a business to steer away. … You don’t want water to become the limiting factor in any given area.”

The state recognizes the risks. It has authorized the construction of reservoirs, created a Water Supply Task Force and adopted some conservation measures. Many cities and counties in the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, which includes metro Atlanta, are offering rebates to homeowners who replace older toilets with low-flow models.

One of the biggest challenges remains the state’s dispute with Alabama and Florida over access to Lake Lanier. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in 2009 that it was illegal for the Army Corps of Engineers to draw water from the lake to meet the needs of 3 million metro residents. Magnuson set a July 2012 deadline for the states to resolve the dispute. Otherwise, metro Atlanta would be limited to the same amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when the population was less than one-third its current size. Georgia is appealing the ruling.

“Some of our issues are the litigation and uncertainty about the future,” said Pat Stevens, chief of environmental planning at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Stevens said that despite the population growth, water use in metro Atlanta is down. She said the population in the North Georgia water district grew 28 percent between 2000 and 2009. Usage, however, was down to 512 million gallons of water a day in 2009, compared with a high in 2006 of 602 million gallons.

A number of factors led to the reduction, including conservation, severe water restrictions during several years of drought and the economic downturn, which may have forced residents to curtail tapping water they could not afford.

Also, 2009 was a rainy year, lessening the need to water yards and gardens.

“It really rained a lot that year. Actually the last year that was more close to our norm was in 2006,” Stevens said. The metro area’s rainfall was 69.4 inches in 2009 and 48.5 inches in 2006.

Alan Wexler, president of Databank Atlanta, a r, said if water were to become less abundant, it could lead to restrictions that would put commercial and residential real estate projects on hold. That happened in the years of drought in 2007 and 2008.

Solving the issue is critical because the economy has stymied real estate growth the past few years. When the recovery comes, no one wants to be sidelined because of water, he said.

“You have so many factors that are fluid right now,” he said.

Population growth stirs worries about stress on region’s water supply  | ajc.com.

Water Supply – or Management – Crisis? The Right Question Will Drive the Right Solution · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader

Water Supply – or Management – Crisis? The Right Question Will Drive the Right Solution · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader.

Water Supply – or Management – Crisis? The Right Question Will Drive the Right Solution

The majority of public messaging is about the water supply crisis we are facing. It is true that climate change and increasing demand will outstrip safe and reliable sources if we continue down the current path. However, the problem is not a “supply crisis,” but instead a “water management” crisis. One simple example that highlights the problem is California’s current statewide drought emergency declaration and simultaneous flood warnings in communities statewide.

World Water Day is a clarion call to everyone – from individuals to our highest-level decision-makers – to start asking basic questions about the way we manage our precious water resources. Where does the water in your home or region come from? How much do we use and for what? What happens to that water once we’ve used it – often just once? Most importantly, are we managing this life-sustaining resource in a way that results in avoidable waste, intractable adverse impacts on our natural environment, and unsustainable economic growth?

Crisis often drives important reform. Sadly, too often that reform is driven by short-term reactionary solutions, avoiding the need for holistic and long-term sustainable solutions.

The crisis we face is much broader than the narrow focus on increasing water supplies. The challenges facing the southwest, if not every region of the world, offer opportunities for holistic reform of water management. We can, and must, resolve our water supply challenges with integrated solutions that reduce pollution, restore ecosystem services and health to local watersheds, eliminate much of the “embedded energy” in our supply and wastewater disposal systems, and adapt to climate change and the multiple threats it poses.

Does this sound like a Herculean task? It does. But like any effort to reform institutional and complex regulatory problems, the public needs a thorough and honest assessment of the problems, and a clear picture of the solutions. World Water Day can and should be the platform to project this vision. The public will drive reform once we understand, and can visualize, the multiple benefits to our economy, environment and quality of life in our community from integrated water management reforms.

Fortunately progressive planners and individuals are already incorporating pieces of the puzzle, and these successful examples can lead the way to holistic reform. Homeowners are beginning to conserve water and redesign their landscapes to capture rainwater. Cities are implementing Low Impact Development ordinances, creating “green streets,” constructing networks of treatment wetlands and other efforts to restore natural watershed benefits to urban settings. We are taking the “waste” of water and energy out of our sewage treatment facilities through safe and reliable recycled water systems. All of these pieces can be incorporated into integrated management reform that provides a multitude of benefits through sound economic investments.

The predictions of a looming “water supply crisis” only seem dire until we embrace the notion that the coordinated and cooperative efforts by many public agencies who have some authority over managing water, as well as our own efforts at home, can result in reform that integrates solutions to multiple problems. Crisis drives reform – and World Water Day is an invaluable opportunity to illustrate what the reform looks like in our communities and how we end up with a sustainable economy, environment and better quality of life.

Joe Geever is the California Policy Coordinator at Surfrider Foundation. His duties include a broad array of policy education and advocacy, including development and management of Surfrider Foundation’s new program “Know Your H2O.”

Caroma’s 2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” Promotion – 50% off MSRP

http://www.caromausa.com/2011/02/09/2011_one_flush_makes_a_difference_50_off_promotion.php

2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” Promotion

Caroma’s 50% off promotion is back! Last year’s promotion was a huge success and this year we’re once again inviting customers to receive a coupon for 50% off the list price of any qualifying Caroma toilet or sink at participating reseller locations*. The 2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” promotion honors Earth Month and helps bring awareness to all that Caroma does to promote water-efficiency. You have until June 30, 2011 to participate in the promotion and receive 50 % off the list price of any qualifying Caroma toilet or sink.

Can One Flush Make a Difference?

Absolutely! In the United States federal law requires that new toilets must not exceed 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf). The high efficiency toilet (HET) category has set a standard in North America with 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf). Caroma’s HET’s go even further: The average flush of the toilets in Caroma’s standard collection is 1.06 gpf, while the Smart Series features an industry breaking 0.96 gpf!

Just think. If just one person uses a high efficiency toilet for one year then they will save around 330 gallons of water (based on the average three times a day flush). Further, if your toilet is from the 1980s, when new toilets were regulated to use 3.5 gallons of water per flush, you would save 2,410 gallons per year by switching to a HET toilet!

The numbers simply add up. If five people replaced their old 3.5 gpf toilet, over 12,000 gallons of water or the equivalent of 300 20-minute showers would be saved. One flush does make a difference, but if 2,000 people with new toilets switched to a HET toilet, in one year you would be able to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool with the water saved: 660,430 gallons! If 822 people using the old 3.5 gpf toilets changed to a Caroma HET toilet, we could fill an Olympic pool with the water saved!

Start Saving. Now you can save money and water at the same time with Caroma’s “One Flush Makes a Difference” 50% off promotion.

*Available through participating resellers only.
Excludes Invisi™ Series, Somerton Smart 270, Sydney Smart 305 One-Piece, Cube Ultra, H2 Zero Waterless and Flow Showerheads. Shipping not included. 50% discount is based off of the list price. Promotion runs from February 14, 2011 through June 30, 2011. Offer available to all North American residents (Canada exempt). Coupon must be present at time of purchase.
 

Click here to see Participating Dealers – if you are in Georgia, contact ecoTransitions.

All floor mounted models also qualify for the various toilet rebate programs in the US!

Gainesville, GA Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa

Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa.

Toilet rebate criteria change

BY MARC EGGERS STAFF
GAINESVILLE – The criteria for the City of Gainesville Plumbing Retrofit Program has changed. 

Under the new guidelines, only high efficiency toilets that are 1.28 gallons per flush or less will be eligible for the credit offered by the Gainesville Public Utilities Department.

Under the retrofit program, any single-family residential customer, whose home was built prior to 1993, can replace older model toilets with new water efficient models and receive a $75.00 credit per toilet replaced. The credit is applied to the applicants’ City of Gainesville water bill.

The City of Gainesville was the first to offer a plumbing retrofit program in North Georgia and in the past has offered the credit for 1.6 gpf toilets.

These eligibility changes are due to measures passed by the legislature in the water stewardship act. These changes will take effect statewide in July 2012. However, to continue as a leader in water conservation, the City of Gainesville has opted to implement the changes this year.

A typical family of four can save around 35 gallons a day or 12,775 gallons a year by replacing one 3.5 gpf toilet with a 1.28 gpf toilet.

Rebate applications must be accompanied with an original receipt and can be found online at http://www.gainesville.org/public_utilities or the Public Utilities Building located at 757 Queen City Parkway, SW Gainesville, GA 30501. Please see application for complete details.

For more information contact Jennifer Flowers at (770) 532-7462, ext. 3287.

 

pottygirl’s blogging year 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 90 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 198 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 171kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 3rd with 93 views. The most popular post that day was Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, greenhomeguide.com, search.aol.com, linkedin.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for penta water scam, caroma toilet reviews, the great pacific garbage patch facts, water conservation, and water scams exposed.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror. September 2009
1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

10 drinking water scams exposed November 2009
1 comment

3

Toilet Rebate Programs in the US February 2009
5 comments

4

Caroma Toilet Review | H2O Report October 2009

5

City of Raleigh, NC WaterSense toilet replacement rebate program June 2010
2 comments