From remodeling bathrooms and kitchens on campus to installing bottle fill-up stations, the University plumbers on the Charles River Campus as well as several licensed plumbers and general mechanics on the Medical Campus and the Fenway Campus keep Boston University flowing. The Plumbing Shop uses the latest industry technology to update fixtures; repair broken water pipes and cracked and broken drain lines; and clean clogged toilets, sinks, tubs, and main drains. This intricate work means that plumbers must often work late at night or on weekends to avoid interrupting the daily routines of students and staff on campus. They also work closely with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission to ensure the University receives the highest quality water.
The Plumbing Shop is committed to reducing BU’s water consumption by installing low-flow shower heads, toilets and urinals, and hands-free sinks. Low-flow shower heads use 1.6 gallons per minute (gpm) versus 3.5 gpm, and low-flow toilets use 1.3 gallons of water per flush versus 3.5 gallons [LS1]. The Plumbing Shop is also installing self-sustaining TOTO EcoPower sensor faucets at several locations on campus. These faucets use water to power the motion sensor that turns the water on and off. The flow of water spins a high-efficiency turbine, which powers the faucet and stores energy in the backup battery. With as few as 10 uses per day, the EcoPower system replenishes its charge.
BU was one of the first universities to install bottle fill-up stations at their major sports workout facility. This pilot program encouraged users to bring a reusable bottle to fill at the water fountain. An LCD screen displays the number of plastic bottles that have been saved by calculating the number of people who have filled up. Since the launch of this pilot, bottle filling stations have been installed in several other locations around the campuses.