UNT Health Science Center earns award for water conservation

November 11, 2013

Conservation measures on the UNT Health Science Center campus save more than 100,000 gallons of water every month.

That’s enough water to flush a high-efficiency toilet 62,500 times. The Health Science Center is doing its part to respond to Texas’ near-record drought and North Texas’ water shortages caused by zebra mussels and low rainfall.

This month, the city of Fort Worth will present UNTHSC Energy Manager Randall Christopher a 2013 SmartWater Conservation Award for a new water-reuse system in the Center for BioHealth (CBH) research building. Until early 2012, the condensed water from CBH’s air conditioning drained into city sewers. But now that water is collected and pumped into the cooling towers.

In addition to this and other water conservation measures, UNTHSC fulfills its commitment to a healthier community through sustainability with several initiatives:

  • Water-bottle refill stations have saved 154,800 12-ounce plastic water bottles.
  • Since 2000, energy efficiency retrofits and new construction have:
    • Saved almost $6 million.
    • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 695,300 tons, or the equivalent of taking 139,200 cars off the road.
  • The center’s co-mingled recycling (paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and cans) totaled 207 tons in 2012, freeing landfill space for the refuse of nearly 1,000 people.
  • The new "Recycle 2.0" program has collected:
    • 750 pounds of batteries.
    • 3,330 fluorescent light tubes between October 2012 and June 2013; and 1,860 pounds thereafter.
    • 30 pounds of cellphones.
    • More than 400 ink cartridges.
  • The Library Courtyard, completed in October, features:
    • Native and adapted plantings, including 100 trees.
    • Permeable surfaces to use rainwater in the landscape.
    • Drip irrigation.
    • A water-sparing fountain with weather sensors and re-circulation.
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