Nathan Gower, Guest Writer (ngower@wwc)
Fadem identified 112 sinks with flow rates above one-half gallon per minute. Though no standardized rate existed at the time, Fadem calculated the average flow rate at just over two gallons per minute.
With the approval of Crew Supervisor Paul Braese, Fadem ordered and installed faucet aerators, devices that add air to water, to standardize the flow rate across campus to one-half gallon per minute, reducing the total amount of water used during sink operations.
Fadem calculated daily building traffic and estimated bathroom usage, later applying the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard faucet-usage time of fifteen seconds at a time, and concluded the school would save approximately 132 gallons of water per the school year.
In further number-crunching, Fadem calculated an approximate savings of $150 a month.
At just a few dollars per aerator, Fadem’s proposal is one of the most cost-efficient solutions to energy efficiency issues on campus and carries one of the shortest payback periods of proposed energy savings plans.
The plan, if successful, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions given off in creating enough energy to push water uphill, one of the Asheville area’s most burdensome energy efficiency issues.
The Energy Services crew is responsible for researching and evaluating energy-related issues on campus through energy audits, proposed fixes to found issues, and devising rebate plans to ensure only the most necessary costs are taken into account.