UNC is fortunate to own water rights, and utilizes raw water from the mountains to irrigate sports fields and most of the turf on the west campus. It conserves millions of gallons of valuable drinking water and saves the university thousands of dollars each year.
UNC has a non-potable pump house on west campus that utilizes irrigation ditch water (raw water) to irrigate the athletic fields and other areas on west campus. The system recently expanded by approximately 38.25 acres.
In 2006, the city of Greeley was expecting growth and expansion and in need of more drinking water. They saw the potential in water savings at the UNC’s Jackson Athletic and proposed a non-potable pump house to the Jackson field complex on 6th Avenue and 18th Street. The city and the university worked together and the new system is pumping millions of gallons of non-drinking water onto UNC fields totaling about 14.5 acres.
UNC has future plans to add another pump station for Central campus, and has installed a 4-inch mainline for irrigation, anticipating future needs. The university designed the new layout to accommodate a point-of-connection to the proposed future pump station location, and is ready to connect once the city constructs a new pump station.
The total acres covered by non-potable water currently stands at nearly 64 acres, and would increase by more than 20 acres with the proposed Central campus station. Irrigation control systems
Irrigation Control Systems
Central Control Irrigation: A Central Control system allows for water conservation and will provide better control and flexibility when watering, allowing UNC to provide the right amount of water for each type of vegetation, and will prevent overwatering and run-off.
The Signature Control System also offers the benefit of water conservation by using weather station data to help save water and automatically adjusting the watering schedules. Once both controllers are networked through radio/cell phone, irrigation technicians will be able to make program modifications from any single controller on campus, reducing time and money otherwise spent travelling back to a central computer.
These software-based controllers would result in adjusting water schedules to maximize efficiency and savings. Weather station ET rate information can reduce UNC’s overall water usage by at least 30 percent.
These controllers are installed on campus, but the cost of networking and the needed software is substantial--an approximate initial cost would be nearly $100,000.
UNC is in the process of changing campus drinking fountains to accommodate bottle fillers. These fillers have built-in bottle counters so that you can see how many bottles have been saved from landfills the next time you pass one in your building.
Automatic Flush Valves
By replacing all 250 1-gallon-per-flush valves to 1-pint-per-flush valves, these automatic urinal flush valves save 20,350 gallons of water per day—a $109.28 per day savings. With a generous rebate from the city of Greeley, the valves paid for themselves in just under three months.
Low Flow Showerheads and faucet aerators
All showerheads on campus are 2.5 gallon per minute. This saves not only water but also natural gas that heats the water. All aerators on campus are .5 gallon per minute. This also saves water and natural gas.
Low Consumption Toilets
UNC has replaced all the old style high consumption toilets with 1.6 GPF design. The toilet replacements were part of a campus wide performance contract in 2004 and a grant project through the city of Greeley in 2009.
Water used to cool high-temperature, hot water (HTHW) pumps
The water that cools the HTHW pumps is reused as condensed water. Previously, it was cooled by a pass of water, which then went down the drain. Now, it’s piped into a cold-water tank and reused.