Since 2006, while the campus has grown 14% we have reduced our water consumption by 13%. We’re continuously working to identify and implement opportunities throughout the campus, from innovative technologies to behavior change strategies. Some of the strategies in place include:
- Rain water harvesting to capture rainwater for landscape irrigation
- Rain sensors installed on the 140 irrigation systems across campus
- Drip irrigation systems in all planting beds spanning Commonwealth Avenue
- Self-charging, hands-free sink faucets
- Dual flush and sensor based toilets
- Elimination of dining hall trays
“I’ve empowered the staff to ensure that they incorporate best practices to conserve water,” says William Walter, Associate Vice President, Operations & Services at Facilities Management & Planning. Staff, he says, are able to implement changes on their own by working within their budgets to purchase items such as energy-saving shower heads, without having to go through time consuming approval channels.
“Everything we do is working toward the ultimate goal of conserving resources and best practices,” says Walter.
Every day Facilities Management & Planning’s plumbing trades staff are installing and maintaining more water efficient fixtures. They are constantly exploring and testing new technologies on campus to further reduce the University’s water consumption.
- Using 0.5 GPM Lavs and 1.5 GPM Showers
- Using 1.28 GPF Toilets
- Using 0.5 GPF Urinals
- Testing 0.25 GPF Urinals
- Exploring Gray Water Systems on new projects
To help conserve water on campus:
- Report all water leaks and clogs to Facilities Management & Planning
- Limit showers to five minutes or less
- Know how long it takes for the water to warm up before a shower, it’s usually only a few seconds.
- Shut off faucets when brushing your teeth, shaving, and washing dishes
- Operate washing machines and dishwashers only when full and on economy cycle
- Keep a bottle in the refrigerator instead of running the tap water until it’s cold
- Instead of discarding small amounts of water left in drinking glasses, your pet’s bowl, or from cooking, use it to water houseplants.
Bottle Filling Stations
Bottle filling stations are conveniently located throughout campus to help our community stay hydrated. Many groups provide reusable water bottles on campus including Athletics, new student Orientation, and Student Government with sustainability@BU to name a few. If you don’t have a reusable bottle, let us know!
- Water Footprint Calculator
- How Gray Water Reclamation works
- Laws and rules regarding Massachusetts Water, Wastewater, Wetlands, and WaterSense: A partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its mission is to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.
- Water Laws and Regulations such as the Water Management Act, Surface Water Quality Standards, and the Oceans Act of 2008.