Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.88
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date April 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Texas at Austin
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Juan Ontiveros
Utilities and Energy Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Water Reclamation Program

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

The University of Texas at Austin is presenting a Water Reclamation Program for innovation credits through the 2014 Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Ratings System managed by AASHE.
The Water Reclamation Program involves using reclaimed water, water that is recycled from wastewater generated by homes and businesses in place of higher-quality domestic potable water for industrial cooling tower operations. The University of Texas commissioned reclaimed water as the primary source of industrial cooling tower makeup to one of many central chilling stations in April 2013. The Water Reclamation Program at The University of Texas demonstrates water conservation through water reuse, however other water conservation efforts to include reclaim and recycle originating at the wastewater plant has afforded the University with the reuse option. Together, these concerted practices will reduce standard treatment effluent of the wastewater plant and extend the limited, finite water resource – our domestic drinking water supply.
Through reclaimed water use, this program and practice will allow the University to replace several million gallons of potable drinking water a year, thereby saving thousands of gallons of water each day that would otherwise be withdrawn from the water reservoir. Over and above, replacing potable drinking water with reclaimed water in an industrial cooling tower application is sure to encompass savings to the city with respect to the energy required in the production of potable, treated municipal water. Likewise, although the practice of reclaimed water use is fairly new to the Austin area with recently provided service to the University, the forthcoming ability to adopt reclaimed water use campus wide will enable the city to concentrate greater efforts on innovative wastewater treatment plant retrofits. Increasing the availability of reclaimed water through reuse lines and infrastructure could, in all probability, shelve costly construction of a new drinking water treatment plant.
The University of Texas at Austin reclamation program is a win-win for the University and the environment. This practice has resulted in a net cost savings for the University, attributed to the reduced cost of the reclaimed water. Equally as important, this practice has reduced the pressure on the scarce fresh water resource and reduced the volume of treated effluent discharged to the Colorado River.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

As of March 7, 2014, we have used 68,200,000 gallons of reclaimed water.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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.