Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.24 / 4.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 857,948,882 Gallons 1,007,532,387 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 680,274,594 Gallons 896,785,700 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 14,801 13,795
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 44,935 39,043
Full-time equivalent of employees 16,703 14,183
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 20,490,517 Square Feet 18,577,348 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 6,875 Acres 6,875 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

FY 2005/06 was adopted as the baseline to be consistent with previous STARS reporting.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
0 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

Penn State is currently installing "purple pipe" for future reuse systems. Penn State operated it's own Wastewater Treatment Plant. After treatment, effluent is spray irrigated on approximately 516 acres of farmland and forests near the University (Living Filter) and helps to recharge the groundwater system.

A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

Water consumption is monitored closely at Penn State. The potable water system on the University Park campus is owned and operated by the University. It consists of 7 production wells, storage tanks, treatment systems, connections with the local water authority for exchange and over 26 miles of distribution pipe.

There are 435 metered connections. All building water use at University Park is metered. The majority of these are at the building-level, although some may be for clusters of buildings(ex: Farm Buildings). Meters are read monthly and consumption data is stored in the McKinstry Enterprise Energy Management (EEM) Suite.

A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

Retrofits that include high efficiency pluming fixtures and fittings are part of the Energy Program. Projects have been implemented at various locations on campus including many residence halls.

A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:


A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

Penn State is fortunate to have enough precipitation throughout the year that irrigation is typically not required except for a couple select locations on central campus and the display areas of the University’s botanic garden, which is irrigated to meet visitor expectations and to protect a significant investment in plants. However, these systems are used primarily during late summer dry spells.
In general, plant species are strategically selected with their water requirements in mind. The increased reliance on rain gardens to handle storm water runoff requires the use of water-loving plants to perform a specific function to thrive and help absorb and filter water in these shallow basins.

A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:


A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

Vegetative grounds acreage derived from calculated impervious surface and total campus acreage using GIS. 2005 data is not available. Based on discussions with the stormwater engineer and other staff, there has been little change to total impervious surface. Most efforts to reduced paved areas in one location have been offset by new construction somewhere else.

Total water use comes from annual water withdrawal report. Potable water use comes from metered use.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.