Facilities Management continues replacing pipes in campus buildings

Work continues on renewing old water lines in various buildings on campus.

Since 1999, domestic water lines have been renewed in 17 residential halls and several academic buildings.

New water pipelines have been installed in the Bovee University Center, Brooks Hall, Anspach Hall, Pearce Hall, Moore Hall and the Dow Science Building. Ronan and Foust halls are almost done, while Bush Theatre is being worked on now. Grawn Hall is the next building to have work done, with work beginning over winter break and expected to be done by the end of the summer, said Steve Lawrence, vice president of Facilities Management.

Many of the older buildings contained galvanized piping that allows for carbonate buildup, limiting water pressure and the amount that is able to come through.

The only residential halls not done are Celani, Campbell, Fabiano, Kesseler and Kulhavi, because they contain copper piping, Lawrence said.

Installation began in 1999 when Herrig, Barnes and Thorpe halls were worked on.

The university has completed 28 buildings at a cost of $9,332,000, funding that came from the deferred maintenance fund, Lawrence said.

“The cost varies a lot,” he said. “It also depends on how the hall was built, how many feet of pipe there is and how many toilets, showers, sinks and drinking fountains a building has.”

When the university redid the Towers' domestic water lines, it cost $1.7 million to replace the water in those, because they were so big and tall, Lawrence said.

New toilets, alterations to faucets

A change in water faucets and toilets has Central Michigan University saving money and water every year.

Tom Rohrer, director of the Great Lakes Institute for Sustainable Systems, said faucets were putting out five gallons per minute and costing the university more than it should have. Aerators were put on faucets and water use dropped to three-quarters a gallon per minute, marking an 80-percent reduction.

“The university had reduced it so much, the city of Mount Pleasant called to see what was going on,” Rohrer said.

Building by building, 2,200 aerators have been installed by student employees since 2008. The established annual savings for the faucets came to $58,000 a year, with the cost and installation of the aerators coming to $9,000, Lawrence said. They are now on most campus faucets.

“I now found one or two sinks I haven’t seen (the aerators) on,” Lawrence said. “But it’s very few.”

The university has also installed 220 low-flow flush valves on urinals and 650 dual-flow toilets since 2009, Lawrence said. Toilets are dual flow, meaning it has the option for a low or regular flow.

“On the dual-flow toilets, you pull up for liquid waste and push down for solid waste,” Rohrer said.

The university wanted to cut back on its water and sewage bill and succeeded by installing these water savers.

Last year’s fiscal budget for water was $934,750, which was a decrease from $1,012,300 in 2009-10, Lawrence said.

“Sustainability here at CMU is a point of pride,” Rohrer said. “We were putting out a lot of water flow.”


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