Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Analysis of Water Usage at UD

This semester a group of students in the ASI 343 Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sustainability class looked at the water usage at the University of Dayton. The students created a presentation to educate those on campus about where the water at the University of Dayton comes from, explaining what an aquifer is and why it is important to take care of the aquifer. The presentation touched on the history of the University of Dayton in regards to bodies of water on campus. Interesting findings included facts that there were once wetlands, ponds, and a creek on campus that were all integral parts of student life. The presentation then proceeded to analyze how we are effectively using our water on campus. The group found that there is so much room for improvement on campus. This could begin with Founders Hall which uses as much water as VWK. The group also analyzed the runoff situation on camps and found that the University has a ratio of 2:1 asphalt to grass surface area and this creates a large runoff problem. One potential solution is to start implementing porous pavers or more porous surfaces so that the runoff is reduced. The runoff from the University runs into a pipe that drains right into the Great Miami River. By making changes on campus we could positively affect the river. Additionally, the group made suggestions for improvement on campus including implementing raingardens in effective locations to reduce runoff, creating underground storage tanks to store water for irrigation, upgrading fixtures in Founders Hall to meet more modern standard flow rates, and raising awareness on campus. Right now the University is not effectively using its water as findings show that the RecPlex (which sits on top of a burried wetland) and UD Arena are constantly pumping water out from under the buildings wasting water and energy. The group welcomes any suggestions for possible solutions and input on this situation.

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