Water – our new most valuable resource

“Water – our new most valuable resource” on “Southeast Green” on BlogTalkRadio.  Steve Williams, LEED AP of Water Management discusses the ins and outs of water conservation and why it’s so important for businesses

Water – our new most valuable resource 01/04 by Southeast Green | Blog Talk Radio.

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.

Water conservation rebate programs Round Rock City and Pflugerville, TX

Water conservation rebate programs.

By Kathryn Eakens Friday, 02 July 2010

 

Though the summer is off to a wet start, weather patterns are difficult to predict, and a drought can happen at any time. The cities of Round Rock and Pflugerville both offer programs that not only encourage residents to conserve water, but can also save them money in the process.

Round Rock

The Round Rock City Council approved a resolution May 27 creating two new water conservation pilot programs—a toilet rebate program and an efficient irrigation program—which began June 1.

The toilet rebate program offers City of Round Rock residential water customers a rebate for replacing their existing toilets with a model off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense list. Similar to the logo associated with the Energy Star Program, the WaterSense logo—a blue and green water droplet—signifies products that have been third-party tested and designated water efficient.

“The toilet is the No. 1 user of water inside the house. If you’re going to do one thing inside your house to save water, it should be to replace your toilet with a WaterSense label model,” City Water Conservation Specialist Jessica Woods said. “It’s the easiest thing to do and the most cost-effective thing to do.”

A resident can receive a rebate of up to $100 per toilet for replacing up to two toilets in their home, which must have been built prior to Jan. 1, 1996.

“In 1992, a national standard became effective saying all toilets have to use 1.6 gallons per flush or less, but all the manufacturers did was put less water in the tank so those early ’90s toilets were just awful,” Woods said. “By 1995, the industry had reconfigured how the toilets actually worked so anything built since 1996 has those second generation toilets that are better. That’s why I chose that as the cutoff date.”

To qualify for the efficient irrigation program, residents must also be City of Round Rock water customers—residential or commercial—and have an existing irrigation system.

“I’ll come out to the property and conduct an irrigation evaluation on their system to see how much water it’s using now and give my recommendations on what could help that system be more efficient,” Woods said. “If there’s anything I recommend that is on our rebate list, then they could get that work done and apply for a rebate.”

Residential customers can receive up to $300 in rebates, while the maximum for commercial and multifamily customers is $600.

Woods said both programs run through Sept. 30 or until funding—which comes from revenue generated by the city’s peak usage water rates—runs out. Applications are available at www.roundrocktexas.gov.

Pflugerville

The city’s Drop by Drop program, which has been in place for several years, offers City of Pflugerville water customers a rebate for landscaping their lawns with approved plants, trees, shrubs and grasses.

After filling out an application including a sketch of the current landscape and a list of planned improvements, applicants have until the end of June each year to implement the plan once it is approved by the city.

“Not only would you be reducing water, but ideally you would be reducing maintenance time in your yard so you wouldn’t be producing as many carbon dioxide emissions from lawnmowers and that kind of thing,” City Forester April Rose said. “Native plants usually need much less in the way of fertilizer so you’d be reducing not only the demand for fertilizer but the potential runoff into storm water. They also provide better habitats for birds and other wildlife.”

Participants can receive a rebate for half of their expenses, up to $500. As part of the Drop by Drop program, the city also sells rain barrels and composters to residents at cost—$40 for a rain barrel and $60 for a composter.

A demonstration garden showing some of the plants and grasses that qualify under the program is located at the Pflugerville Recreation Center, and applications are available at www.cityofpflugerville.com

Low-flow toilets at schools in Albuquerque Public Schools

http://www.aps.edu/news/aps-saves-water-taxpayer-dollars-through-district-wide-toilet-replacement

Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority have collaborated to install low-flow toilets at schools throughout the district, an effort expected to save more than $25,000 and 13.5 million gallons of water each year. Read more

City of Round Rock, TX Toilet rebate

City of Round Rock – Water Conservation info can be found here

The application can be found here.

Caroma’s contribution to community is remembered – Topix

Caroma’s contribution to community is remembered – Topix.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District’s 2010 high efficiency toilet or washing machine rebate program

Source

http://www.pagosasun.com/archives/2010/04%20April/040110/bspawsdrebate.html

PAWSD 2010 rebate programs kick off
By Sheila Berger
 
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are you thinking of replacing your washing machine or toilet? Are you looking for an easy way to save money and reduce your water footprint, year after year? Are you searching for a way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22?

You can do all of this by participating in the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District’s 2010 high efficiency toilet or washing machine rebate program. That’s right, PAWSD will pay you to replace your old, water-wasting fixtures. But, that’s not all.

The greatest water resource we have is the water we unnecessarily waste every day. Saving this water not only reduces your water bill, it reduces district water treatment costs and wear and tear on district infrastructure. This, in turn, keeps service charges down and extends the need to build new or expanded facilities. It also keeps water in the source (rivers and lakes), which is good for the environment.

From 2004 through 2009, the high efficiency toilet and washer rebate programs collectively saved the district and its participating customers over 16,218,000 gallons, or 50 acre-feet of water, which translates into a savings of nearly $200,000 in avoided treatment costs. In 2009, customers who used the toilet rebate program saved an average of 18,600 gallons per household while those who participated in the washer rebate program saved 6,100 gallons of water.

Ready to play? Participation in the program is simple, but is limited to residential or commercial PAWSD water customers with current and non-delinquent account(s).

The primary rules are that a new, high efficiency fixture must replace a low efficiency fixture. High efficiency toilets are defined as toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less and must replace existing toilets using 1.6 gpf or more. The high-efficiency clothes washer must replace an existing clothes washer using more than 27 gallons of water per load. The old toilet must be returned to the PAWSD facility at 100 Lyn Ave. for disposal or the participant must provide proof of proper disposal. Participants in the washer rebate must properly dispose of old clothes washers with the dealer or at the PAWSD facility, or provide proof of proper disposal. Proof of proper disposal ensures that water wasting fixtures are permanently removed from future use.

Unsure about the water use of your current fixtures? A couple rules of thumb are that, generally, homes built before 1994 have higher than 1.6 gpf toilets and, generally, most clothes washers built prior to 1990 have higher than 27 gallons per load water use. Also, the vast majority of top-loading washing machines use more than 27 gallons per load.

Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability of funds. To ensure a rebate, check with PAWSD before you make a purchase. High efficiency washing machines qualify for a $125 rebate. Toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less qualify for $75 and if it is a dual flush, power flush, or flapperless model, it qualifies for $125 rebate. The program applies to products purchased from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 15, 2010.

Interested customers are encouraged to visit the Conservation page of the PAWSD Web site at http://www.pawsd.org. Here you will find general program information, 2009 program results and 2010 applications. Customers can call water conservation coordinator Mat deGraaf for further information or with inquiries