USF is working with the Southwest Florida Water Management District on a university-wide water conservation campaign for the 2011 spring semester.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requires development of EPA Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for construction projects site area greater than 1 acre. USF coordinates and adheres to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). FDEP is responsible for issuing permits and performing compliance and enforcement activities as the NPDES permitting authority in Florida. There are two phases of the NPDES Stormwater Program. Phase I of the NPDES Stormwater Program was promulgated in 1990. It requires large and medium municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) located in incorporated counties with a population of 100,000 or more to obtain NPDES permits. Phase II of the NPDES Stormwater Program was promulgated in 1999. It requires MS4s not regulated by Phase I, and small construction activities to obtain NPDES permits and develop comprehensive stormwater management programs that will eliminate illicit discharges to MS4s and reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff. USF is a part of the Phase II MS4 program.
USF has considered waterless urinals and made a conscious decision to not use them for following reasons: 1. Operation of waterless urinals requires additional energy consumption, creating pollution and a larger carbon foot print. 2. Manufacture of replacement cartridges is a high energy consuming process using oil and plastics; it creates pollution and larger carbon foot print. 3. Disposal of the cartridges requires land fill or incineration that causes pollution on land or in air. 4. Purchase and replacement of cartridges is a much higher cost alternative than using water. 5. Sanitary water is used by the City of Tampa to produce ‘recycled gray water’ for irrigation elsewhere in the city - a sustainable alternative. 6. Based on USF’s cost of well water, there is no economic benefit (no payback) and all the negative implications related to the waterless urinals.
Building Water Metering
The majority of buildings on campus are individually metered with the exception of residential halls. Many of the Tampa campus buildings have been retrofitted with motion sensing automatic faucets and flush valves. This helps prevent waste and conserves water usage.
Non-potable Water Usage
Non-potable storm water is used by the USF Golf Course for irrigation. USF is seeking funding for two cistern projects to capture the blow down condensate from mechanical units and incorporate into use for irrigation. The Dr. Kiran C. Patel center for Global Solutions incorporates the use of a rainwater harvesting system which is used for the flushing of toilets.
Application of low maintenance xeriscape landscape treatments for new building construction and new campus common areas is required by USF policy. According to this policy, landscape plans should include the use of plant species that are indigenous to the natural plant communities of the region and which promote the use of xeriscape principles. In cases where non-invasive exotic plants are used to enhance the landscape, plantings should be limited to those non-invasive species that are able to resist periods of drought and which require little fertilization and use of chemicals.
Various sensors are used throughout the campus and water usage patterns are adjusted accordingly.