Water Quality & Conservation

woman takes a water sample from river
UAF photo by Todd Paris.

UAF’s water comes from groundwater well, 70-90 feet deep. The water treatment plant is designed to handle 1 million gallons per day or 700 gallons per minute. Currently 4600 persons are using the system daily. Pumping and treating water is a major energy user, so conserving water can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Conservation and effective stormwater management help protect groundwater supplies. Freshwater is abundant in Alaska – the state has over 12,000 rivers and thousands of streams and ponds – comprising nearly one-third of all the fresh water found the United States. Ground and freshwater need to be protected.

What is UAF doing?

  • Facilities Services is metering building water usage.
  • The plumbing shop is currently testing the use of Sloan Automatic Touchless water faucets and soap dispensers. The faucets are vandal resistant, conserve resources, reduce cost and promote health and wellness. Automatic faucets deliver water only when needed, which results in water savings of up to 70 percent. The touch-free design helps to prevent the spread of germs.
  • The Georgeson Botanical Garden (GBG) uses soaker hoses, trickle irrigation systems and mulching to reduce water usage. All the rainwater that can be caught is used to water plants.
  • Water is managed at the GBG with diversion ditches, directional slopes and paths, grass walkways, and porous gravel walkways.
  • GBG constructed a large rain garden to reduce storm water runoff.
  • Trays have been eliminated from the dining hall in a bid to reduce wash water usage.
  • The Cooperative Extension Service provides publications on topics including trickle irrigation, wise water use and ground water quality.
  • UAF has successfully been using Mixed-Oxidant (MIOX) technology to disinfect the drinking water on campus since April of 1997. Prior to the use of MIOX, UAF was using 1-ton cylinders of chlorine gas to provide disinfection of the water. By moving up to the on-site MIOX generators, UAF has improved the drinking water quality along with increasing our ability to more efficiently and effectively disinfect your drinking water.
  • By removing the chlorine gas chlorination system, UAF eliminated all of the hazards associated with the shipping, storing, handling and applying of chlorine gas as a disinfectant. MIOX reduces transportation of chemicals, thus reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption.
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