Plant Operations leads ongoing retrofits to replace old faucets, taps, toilets, and showerheads with more efficient models. New buildings are designed to include low-flow technologies to minimize water use.
The University of Waterloo has a steam boiler that heats most of South Campus. This system is cost-efficient, but requires a large amount of water to pump steam to campus buildings. Plant Operations installed a closed-loop system to re-circulate water from the heating and cooling systems, rather than sending it down the drain.
The Fish Laboratory in the Biology 1 building underwent a major retrofit in 2008 that has realized an annual water savings of 19,000 meters cubed. That's the same as the average water consumption for over 250 homes in Waterloo Region!
Waterloo's Environment 3 building features a greywater system that connects to simulated wetlands. Excess rainwater from the rooftop is stored in an underground cistern beside the building, where it is slowly filtered through the plants above. The cleaned water is then pumped back into Environment 3 for use in toilets and the two-story indoor green wall!