Water Conservation on Campus
Wisconsin Energy Initiatives (WEI) is a statewide partnership between private companies and the state government with a focus geared toward conserving energy in various facilities, including universities. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s sustainability efforts has incorporated several water saving techniques throughout the residence halls. This includes dual flush toilets and water saving faucets, shower heads, and washers.
Dual Flush Toilets
These dual flush toilets are also known as Sloan WES Dual Flush Valve and Zurn toilets. They allow for different directions of flushing, push the handle down for solid waste and pull the handle up for liquid waste. These different directions of flushing are useful in conserving water on our campus. Solid waste (or pushing down) uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush, while liquid waste (or pulling up) uses 1.1 gallons of water. We save 0.5 gallons of water every time we flush up for liquids. When compared to that of a regular flushing toilet, our dual flush toilets use about 25 percent less water which is a significant amount when considering the number of toilets and frequency they’re used. Dual flush toilets are located in Tutt, Knilans, and Starin halls, with Fischer and Wellers soon to follow as renovations on campus continue.
All of the faucets in the residence halls are low flow and conserve water. In new construction areas and Starin Hall, faucets have flow rates of 0.5 gallons per minute in the bathrooms and 2.0 gallons per minute in the kitchen. The rest of the residence halls have water saving flow rates of 1.5 gallons per minute.
All shower heads on campus ensure water is being conserved each day while students shower. The new construction areas on campus have shower heads with a flow rate of only 1.75 gallons per minute. While older shower heads on campus have a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute, which is well below the federal mandate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less.
In campus residence halls you will find Maytag White Commercial High-Efficiency Front-Load Washers, which are great at conserving water. These washers sense the amount of clothing inside and dispense only the required amount of water in order to complete the wash cycle. This saves at least 50 percent more water than traditional washers. The high efficiency of these washers, also allow for less detergent to be used by students while washing their clothes.
Overall, UW-Whitewater has implemented several initiatives to ensure water is conserved throughout the residence halls. First, our dual flush toilets save 0.5 gallons of water every time we flush up for liquids, as well as using 25 percent less water overall than regular flushing toilets. The faucets found in residence halls ensure low flow rates of water, resulting in increased water conservation. Shower heads found in residence halls have flow rates well below the federal mandate of 2.5 gallons per minute. With flow rates of 1.75-2.0 gallons per minute, these are great for saving water. Lastly, our high efficiency washers found in residence halls save at least 50 percent more water than traditional washers, also allowing for less detergent per wash. All of these water savings really add up! With each of these initiatives, UW-Whitewater allows students to be sustainable while living in the residence halls.