Log In

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
OP-T2-46: Non-Potable Water Usage

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Ray Dumouchel
Associate Director, Buildings and Grounds Services
Operations and Maintenance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution use non-potable water (e.g., harvested rainwater or graywater) for irrigation and/or other applications?:

A brief description of the source of non-potable water and how it is used:

The University of Alberta has embraced the capture and reuse of stormwater and water recovery from fire pump testing in several instances, mostly for irrigation.

- The Campus Community Gardens on both North Campus and Campus Saint-Jean are irrigated with
rainwater collected in barrels.
- Augustana Campus has one 1500 gallon and two 250 gallon underground tanks that collect water
from the campus’ grass swales, and the water that is collected is used for irrigation on campus.
- In 2013, an underground cistern was installed on the west side of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) to collect water used in fire pump testing and then use this water for campus irrigation needs. See Innovation Credits for more information on this unique system.
- The Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility (MICF) on South Campus features a dry pond and an underground tank that collects rainwater, which is then used for irrigation of the surrounding landscape.

- In Triffo Hall, rainwater is collected in a below-grade storage tank system and used for toilet flushing
to reduce potable water use

Looking forward, two additional projects will make use of captured water.

- The Camrose Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) on Augustana Campus in Camrose will incorporate an additional underground cistern, to be fed by a dry pond or swale.
- An additional dry pond will be installed on the south side of the Agriculture Forestry Building on North Campus to collect rainwater that runs off of the new atrium.

The percentage of irrigation water usage from recovered, reclaimed or untreated sources :

The percentage of building space using water from recovered, reclaimed or untreated sources:

The percentage of water used in utility plants from recovered, reclaimed or untreated sources:

The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:

The University of Alberta District Energy System (DES) is made up of a Heating Plant, two Cooling Plants, and a thermal energy storage system, all of which use water in their processes.

Cooling Plant North is situated on the South bank of the North Saskatchewan River, and is set up to take advantage of cold river water temperatures as a heat sink, especially during winter months when the water temperatures are around zero degrees Celsius. In the winter, the plant operates in free cooling mode, further reducing the amount of electricity that would otherwise be needed for cooling.

To estimate the amount of untreated river water used in the DES for this credit, three days were chosen to get a snapshot throughout the year: July 2, 2013, January 5, 2014, and May 1, 2014. On each of these days, the following water quantities were measured: river water used, chilled water produced, Cooling Plant on Campus condenser water used, boiler feed water used, and boiler make-up water used.

The following percentages represent the amount of utility water made up by untreated river water on each of the days analysed:

- July 2, 2013: 36%
- January 5, 2014: 64%
- May 1, 2014: 44%

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.