Restroom Water Reduction Potential at an Urban University

University of Illinois Chicago

Publication Release Date: Dec. 1, 2016
Date Posted: April 20, 2017
Submitted by: Sarah Koning
Sustainability Topics: Buildings, Water
Content Type: Publications
Office or Department: Sustainability Office
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Periodical Name: Sustainability: The Journal of Record
Type: Journal Article


A water audit was conducted at a variety of University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus buildings to help evaluate the potential to conserve water and save the university money. These buildings are unique in many different aspects and together are a good representation of an urban university infrastructure. Data was collected by performing a water audit on faucets, urinals, toilets, and showers. In the findings, the data suggests it is necessary to upgrade the majority of the fixtures to green retrofits. Green retrofits are fixtures that meet at least the federal and EPA standards. In one scenario of an audit of a university building, the payback was found to be less than two years with a yearly savings of $72,000 and the potential to save 9.4 million gallons of water per academic year. The study also suggests that these upgrades, if applied, could lead to a more sustainable campus.