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Conduct True Cost of Water Study for Chiller Plants (Completed)

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In FY2011, cooling towers constituted 30 percent of the total water use on campus. Due to the large water use of these towers, a ‘True Cost of Water Study’ was performed on with goals of benchmarking water use in cooling towers and generating ideas for improving water use efficiency. The study was conducted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center in collaboration with Facilities and Services and was funded by the Student Sustainability Committee.

The benchmarking results showed that the largest amounts of water are being used at the Oak Street Chiller Plant (OSCP) and North Campus Chiller Plant (NCCP). It also showed that there is significant water use at the Abbott Power Plant, Vet Med Chiller Plant, Housing Food Storage, Natural Resources Studies Annex (NRSA) and the Law Building. More water, by volume, is going to the sewers from smaller towers than all of the large chiller plants.

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