Water Efficiency at UCSF
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Parnassus Mission Bay
In response to water efficiency policies implemented by the UC system during the recent drought, UCSF has developed a comprehensive water efficiency strategy, which is referenced in the UCSF Water Action Plan.
UCSF Water Action Plan
UCOP Sustainable Practices Policy
Water Efficiency Projects
Water efficiency projects are identified by installing water meters, and establishing baseline water consumption data. Projects are evaluated based on return on investment of water and energy savings.
UCSF has prioritized the replacement of sterilizers as a water efficiency priority. Sterilizers, also referred to as autoclaves, can consume between 125,000-1,000,000 gallons of water per year due to once-through water cooling. Sterilizers which break down impact research, as media may not be properly sterilized. Facilities Services has established an incentive program for laboratories to replace sterilizers, which also works with the San Francisco Water Department Incentive Program.
- Water Metering
UCSF is installing smart meters, which are tied into the building management system, across the campus. This advanced metering infrastructure will enable the development of advanced analytics to identify efficiency opportunities and monitor system performance.
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Laboratory Water Efficiency
Condensers Vacuum Aspirators
- Equipment Incentive
Stelilizers, also referred to as autoclaves, can consume between 125,000-1,000,000 gallons of water per year due to once-through water cooling. Sterilizers which have problems impact research, as media may not be properly sterilized. Facilities Services has established an incentive program for laboratories to replace sterilizers, which also works with the San Francisco Water Department Incentive Program.
- Once-through Water Cooling
‘Single Pass’ or ‘Once Through’ cooling systems flow water through a piece of equipment to absorb heat and dispose the water down the drain without re circulation. Equipment typically using this type of cooling includes sterilizers, hydraulic equipment, distillation condensers, refrigeration condensers, air compressors, vacuum pumps, electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, lasers, helium recovery, and electro magnets.
- Purified Water Systems
Laboratory research water quality standards may require the use of water which has been de-mineralized by De-Ionized or Reverse Osmosis systems. UCSF supplies Type III purified water with typical ranges of .71-.82ms. These systems consume water in the production process, as mineralized water is separated out and rejected to the drain. The Parnassus central Plant re-uses the reject water in the cooling tower system.
Since 2014, Housing has been replacing showerheads with high efficiency models, and installing aerators on faucets. This effort reduced Housing water consumption by 14% since the program started.
Learn more about Sustainability in Housing
- Pool Filtration
The Fitness Center installed an ultraviolet filtration system, which allows them to only drain the pool when maintenance is required. Previously, the pools had to be drained and refreshed with new water.
- Shower Efficiency
Fitness encourages all members to limit their showers to 3 minutes or less. If members have children using the facility for swim lessons, parents are asked to make sure children also limit showers to 3 minutes or less.
- Drought Response
- Efficient Landscape
UCSF landscape irrigation is managed by software which controls watering according to precipitation and evapotranspiration rates. Currently, irrigation is about 3% of total water consumption. A pilot project is under way to assess the conversion of a turf landscape area into drought tolerant planting.