Autoclave Water Economizers
In Fall 2010, the College of Science replaced two autoclaves in Stepan Chemistry. With support from the Green Loan Fund, they were able to purchase water economizers for these autoclaves, resulting in an annual water savings of over 350,000 gallons per year.
As the University has updated buildings and constructed new buildings, it has adopted water conservation technologies. In FY09, the University updated three student residence halls representing over 165,000 GSF of building space. In FY08, over 150,000 GSF was renovated. Water conservation technologies adopted at these existing buildings include low-flow faucets, low-flow showerheads, waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets.
All new "construction" includes water efficient fixtures such as low-flow showerheads and urinals and dual-flush toilets. The landscaping surrounding these buildings utilizes drip irrigation and Stinson-Remick Hall has a rain garden to trap storm water as well.
In late Fall 2008, Notre Dame began replacing its 15-year-old sprinkler system with a new, high-efficiency system. When completed, the new system will monitor the weather and automatically defer irrigation when it is raining, resulting in a 25%-35% savings. The new system is also able to shut down the water supply from a central location in case of broken pipes or flooding. Flow meters, which can increase the water savings up to 55%, are also being installed beginning in high activity areas. Due to its high efficiency, the new system will count as a credit toward achieving LEED certification for new buildings.
Storm Water Management
The University has implemented a "Storm Water Quality Management Plan" which is managed by the Utilities Department. When rain or snowmelt runs off roofs and roads it picks up pollutants that can negatively affect the water quality of nearby lakes and streams. The Storm Water Quality Management Plan is in place to provide education about storm water and prevent its potential for negative impacts. This plan includes regular monitoring of lake & river quality, centralizing hazardous waste disposal, providing unpaved Gameday parking on White field which allows for rainwater to percolate into the soil where it gets naturally filtered, and labeling storm water drains in an effort to prevent illicit dumping.
More about water
The supply of water to campus is managed by Notre Dame's Department of Utilities. Campus water comes from seven wells. Pumps bring the water from the wells to the water tower. The tap water on campus is very safe to drink and a Brita pitcher will remove the taste of "hardness" that some find unpleasant.