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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.76
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
IN-4: Innovation 4

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Hugh Warren
Associate Vice President, Operations and Maintenance
Facilities and Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

WATER CAPTURE FROM FIRE PUMP TESTING

Each year, 18 fire pumps on the University of Alberta’s North Campus are tested at full capacity, using approximately 100,000 gallons (378,541 liters) of water. Previously, the testing procedure had the full-flow pumps send water into the street which would then drain to nearby storm water drains. While fire pump water is deemed to be non-potable, in the case of UAlberta this water is sourced from the City of Edmonton water mains containing treated water.

In 2012 UAlberta investigated the feasibility of expanding its utilization of underground cisterns. Previously, cisterns were installed in two locations on campus to capture rain water for irrigation, and Facilities and Operations decided to install a larger underground tank to capture the fire pump test water for secondary use instead of sending it to drain. In order to undertake this program the university needed to obtain special approvals on test methods and sizing of diversions hoses to ensure that the performance test of the fire pumps was not affected.

In 2013, UAlberta successfully began capturing fire pump test water and transferring it to a 25,000 gallon underground cistern next to the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) for temporary storage. The water is transferred from the cistern to tanks on the university’s grounds vehicles and then used for irrigation and water features on campus.

While rainwater capture has become a common feature of green building design, capturing fire pump testing water is to our knowledge a very new approach to grey water capture and reuse. Fire pump testing is a necessary protocol to ensure proper working condition of the pumps, and is not something that can otherwise be eliminated. However, by capturing the water and using it for other purposes the university is mitigating the impact of this necessary water expenditure.

Operations and Maintenance and Buildings and Grounds Services at the university are very proud to have begun this innovative initiative to prevent water waste at the University of Alberta.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.