Indicator 1: Decrease water usage at Behrend.
Between the years of 1996 and 2001, Penn State Behrend’s water usage grew by 43%. This water is used for potable uses (drinking, cooking, etc), non-potable uses (flushing toilets, cleaning laundry) and irrigation.
As Behrend continues to grow, it will become more of a challenge to not increase water demand. There are currently some measures in place to decrease water demand. These include:
- Food service uses high-efficiency hot water heaters.
- Housing has installed low-flow shower nozzles on existing showers in all student residence bathrooms, and uses high-efficiency clothes washers.
- Campus facilities have automatic shut-off faucets and low-flush toilets.
- There is a cooling tower in the plastics lab to cool the water before dumping into the waste stream.
Other alternatives to combat water usage on campus, include:
- Student education (water used during normal morning routine, water-saving tips shower hangers).
- Adopt a proactive approach for water conservation in food service practices.
- Plumbing maintenance (water leaks) issues should be a priority (possibly through formation of a hotline).
- Place informational plaques in public bathroom area (could provide information about Behrend's water source and what happens to wastewater).
- Institute an educational program in Behrend's child care center on water conservation and recycling gray water and continue the program through graduation.
- Study feasibility of on-campus wastewater treatment.
- Continue to ensure efficiency of all plumbing fixtures.
- New construction on campus requires use of low-flush toilets and low-flow faucets, low-flow shower heads, and high-efficiency hot water heaters.
- Explore waterless urinals.