Stormwater for Graywater in Aiken
Students in group: Audrey Seery email me
Kayla Freischlag email me
Linked below is a brief powerpoint presentation highlighting our reasoning, process, and end results for our project.
In 2012, the Aiken Center underwent renovations to become LEED Platinum certified. One of the renovations included the introduction of an eco-machine. This was intended to clean blackwater and re-use it as graywater to flush the toilets in the building. This was projected to save around 50% of the total water used by the building.
Unfortunately, the eco-machine is not able to be used. The building has been using potable water to flush the toilets. There has been a desire to find alternatives in order to cut back on the total water used by the building. Given the presence of the infrastructure leftover from the eco-machine, it has been proposed to collect and use stormwater to use to flush the toilets.
This project would be beneficial for a variety of reasons. By using stormwater, the Aiken Center would conserve potable water used. Potable water has used more energy to be collected, cleaned, and transported than stormwater. There is an environmental benefit, as well as financial savings. The University of Vermont sits at the top of the hill in Burlington. By collecting stormwater from the roof of Aiken, we would be preventing this water from running downhill through town, collecting pollutants as it travels towards Lake Champlain. Overall, this project would be a great opportunity for the University of Vermont to participate in environmental stewardship and provide ecological design opportunities to its campus.
A majority of the infrastructure required for this project is already in place. The water would be collected via the green roof system. Currently, the water travels through the "tipping buckets" and eventually leaves the building. However, there is a large water tank that is in the basement leftover from the eco-machine project as well as various water treatment structures and separate labeled piping for potable and non-potable water.
We did many data analyses in order to figure out if this project would be effective and to quantify the amount of water that could potentially be saved. Linked here is our full data collection process, as well as our results acquired along the way. Linked here is our full data collection process, as well as our results acquired along the way.
Overall, we found that in 2017 the Aiken Center used around 277,000 gallons of potable water in all processes. Of that total, around 132,000 gallons of potable water were used to flush the toilets. Using data from 2014, we calculated that the green roof was able to collect around 152,000 gallons of water in a year. This is around 115% coverage of toilet water with water from the green roof and around **48% overall savings of potable water.**
Goals and objectives:
- Quantify how much water we use
- Total water used by building
- Proportion of total water that is used to flush toilets
- Quantify how much water could be collected
- Analyze green roof data
- Discuss feasibility of collection using current infrastructure
- Why use stormwater?
- Why runoff is dangerous for bodies of water esp. VT (big ag.)