Main Goals and Findings

             The Environmental Studies Senior Seminar for spring 2009 examined several aspects of the sustainability of Kaufman Hall prior to planned renovations. The data that was collected provides a useful baseline for future students to use in evaluating how efficient the new Kaufman Hall will be, and for tracking improvements or declines in it's sustainability. The data collected can also influence Kaufman in the planning stage before renovations are started. This website examines how feasible or appropriate it is to use rainwater runoff and used sink water as a reliable source for flushing toilets within the building based on current water demands.


Kaufman Runoff

This slideshow illustrates the current, ineffective management of rainwater as it leaves Kaufman's roof as runoff (Brzezinski, 2009).

Main Goal: To evaluate the ability of stormwater runoff from the Kaufman roof to supply grey water for use in flushing toilets in Kaufman.

  • To achieve this goal:
    • The runoff volume from the Kaufman roof on a “typical” monthly basis was calculated via two separate water availability methodologies.
    • The current water usage for toilet and urinal flushing within the building was determined through the use of two different water use methodologies.

    • Water availability results and water use results were compared to determine if there is currently enough grey water available to flush toilets.
  • In support of this study:
    • The amount of sink water used in Kaufman restrooms was calculated as a supplemental source of grey water.
    • An evaluation of the potential for using grey water in the Central Energy Plant was conducted.
    • Future water savings were projected for after renovations are made to Kaufman based on using grey water for toilet flushing as opposed to using municipal supplies.
    • Recommendations were made in reference to the size and number of rainbarrels that would be required to accommodate the amount of currently available grey water.
    • Additional resources providing suggestions on what individuals can do to reduce the impacts of stormwater at home were provided.

Main Conclusions: 

  • There is more than enough runoff coming off of Kaufman’s roof and used water from bathroom sinks to flush the toilets and urinals that are currently in place in the building.|
  • There is more than enough runoff coming off of Kaufman’s roof for current water demand for toilet/urinal use.
  • It is recommended that if rain barrels are not sized to capture all of the runoff that additional Better Management Practices be implemented and/or additional uses for grey water be employed to control stormwater runoff from Kaufman's roof.
  • There is not enough runoff coming off of Kaufman’s roof and used water from bathroom sinks to meet the full demand for water as a cooling agent in the Central Energy Plant, even if the grey water was not used to flush toilets. However after water demand for toilets is filled excess captured runoff can suplement municipal water supplies as a cooling agent for the central energy plant.
  • Six 2,500 gallon capacity rainbarrels are recommended for Kaufman Building as a minimum to supply full water demand for toilet flushing. If the rain barrels will not be of uniform size then the collective capacity must add up to 15,000 gallons. This collective capacity will be able to hold three months worth of water demand to flush toilets with. Three months capacity safeguards against not having enough water for toilet flushing during a drought.

  • Dickinson College could save as much as $52,680 if all rooftop runoff and used sink water are collected and used in ways that would previously have required municipal water.

  • Additional studies are recommended to determine other possible uses for collected grey water that would meet the needs of Dickinson College, and to see if grey water management techniques could be implemented in other locations on campus.

  • After renovations are made to Kaufman, monitoring should be continued to determine if grey water is being effectively managed and is meeting the needs as predicted in this study.

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