By Satya Noble Barlett- Water
We are continuing on our quest to reduce water consumption and waste from the facilities on campus. Since our last update, we have audited 98 sinks in the bathrooms of 11 buildings on campus. With a standardized methodology, we were able to split up and efficiently explore the variety of buildings over the course of three weeks. We discovered aerators that release 0.5 to 3 gallons per minute. Beyond these differences, we found quite a few with broken aerators. Our prior research and communication with the UC Santa Barbara Water Action Team warned us of that. These faucets have fallen into disrepair. We have realized, also, that few students can tell the difference between the different flows. Therefore, no one bothered to report the malfunctions. Perhaps we could implement a procedure for students to report leaks or failing aerators to Facilities Management.
This week we have focused on putting together our midterm report. We will present the report to Nurit for her approval and suggestions. Over a great healthy dinner at BPlate on the hill, we discussed our upcoming presentation and plans for Spring Quarter. We intend to continue our audits in more detail next quarter. Specifically, we will choose the most visited bathrooms on campus to calculate the water used based on average visitations per day. After crunching the numbers and applying for TGIF, we hope to improve the facilities by implementing the most efficient aerators where it is feasible. It is very important to understand the real savings, monetary and environmental, that will come from simply replacing aerators.
In addition, we will create a pamphlet for customers to the plumbing shop looking to retrofit their facilities. We will provide the information necessary for people to make the most sustainable decisions regarding toilets and faucets. This aspect of our project will contribute a component of education to the community that we hope will be effective. The Water Team is working hard to develop continued plans for the benefit of the campus.