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Sustainability

Water Efficiency

Outdoor Water Use Efficiency

As early as 2006, Valencia College contracted for landscape master plans for East Campus and West Campus from GAI Consultants. These plans recommended a reduction in irrigation, fertilization, and pesticides through the changeover from St. Augustine grass to drought-tolerant Bahia grass and various native plants.

This changeover was carried out on East Campus from 2006 on and adopted slightly later on West Campus. Use of drought-tolerant Bahia and native plants is now our standard on all campuses. We also use very limited amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, following Integrated Pest Management techniques.

Rainwater Harvesting and Reclaimed

On West Campus the Special Events Center has a 9000 gallon underground cistern that provides water for flushing on the low-volume toilets. On Osceola Campus, the new Building 4 also has a cistern storing 10,000 gallons of rainwater for flushing toilets.

Reclaimed wastewater provided by the wastewater utility is used for irrigation on our largest campuses: West Campus, East Campus, Osceola Campus, and Lake Nona Campus

Stormwater Management

Valencia College recognizes that by decreasing stormwater runoff and treating stormwater on site, we can help replenish natural aquifers, reduce erosion impacts, and minimize local water contamination. We construct and maintain retention ponds and use vegetated swales to minimize stormwater runoff from our properties. All practices are developed in coordination with the permitting process of the St. Johns River Water Management District and/or South Florida Water Management District.

Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries are followed (University of Florida Friendly Landscaping).

Indoor Water Use Efficiency

Valencia College takes advantage of water efficiency advances on a national scale, including the Maximum Performance (MaP) testing for toilets and EPA WaterSense labeling program (similar to the EPA's Energy Star program)

We use dual-flush toilets and others using no more than 1.28 gallons per flush for new installations and retrofits. Automatic flushing toilets have been chosen by the college to assist maintenance crews. If you are aware of a toilet on campus that is functioning improperly- giving extra flushes- please contact us at the number below.

We install urinals that use only 0.25 gallons per flush. This is a tremendous savings over older urinals that used as much as 3 gallons per flush.

We install faucets with aerators flowing at the rate of 0.5 gallons per minute or less.

Cooling Towers

Valencia College has converted most of its chillers from air-cooled to water-cooled to take advantage of higher efficiencies, but with this conversion water use went up drastically. In June 2007 on West Campus 1,200 tons of Chiller Water provided cooling for nine buildings. The monthly potable water consumption was 1,835,000 gallons with an operating cost was $11,634.00.

With the growth of the college came construction of our new Central Energy Plant and the chilled water loop was expanded to include 2 new buildings and one that had previously used air-cooled chillers. By 2009, another building was added to the loop which raised the monthly consumption to 2,163,000 gallons with costs of $14,891.00.

In an effort to reduce this large consumption of potable water in our chiller plants, in 2010 we engaged the services of CG Solutions to provide a low water usage chemical treatment program. In the first year of using this chemical treatment, Valencia saved 9,369,000 gallons of billed water. This translates into savings of $102,747 for the year. In addition to the potable water savings, Valencia currently has a water softener for the cooling tower make-up water. By reducing its water consumption, Valencia was also able to reduce its salt consumption, thus producing another $9,000 annually in savings. Overall the savings realized is $111,000.00; a remarkable achievement for the investment.

With these new techniques, the HVAC equipment has continued performing well. The condenser approaches never exceeded 0.5 degrees even during the hottest days of the summer. The tubes were clean, but not shiny and the face sheets showed no signs of pitting, scale or corrosion.

Ice-Machines

All new installations and any replacements we use air-cooled ice machines, that are ENERGY STAR labeled. See www.energystar.gov.

For information on water efficiency or to report water wastage, contact Deborah Green, Director of Sustainability, at dgreen1@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-1830.

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