In recent years, UTM has undertaken many initiatives to reduce water use on campus. While some of these projects are highly visible, many have taken place 'behind-the-scenes.' Here are some of the water-saving projects UTM has completed in recent years:
- The Instructional Centre uses 42 percent less water than a conventional building. In addition, the green roof on the building is irrigated with collected stormwater. The Health Sciences Complex uses 65 percent less water than a conventional building. The building uses low-flow fixtures and also has a large underground cistern that collects rainwater. The collected rainwater is used for irrigation and flushing toilets. See the Green Building page for more information.
Bottled Water Ban
In 2011, the Food Services departments across all three U of T campuses initiated a three-year phaseout of bottled water sales. As of Sept. 1, 2013, bottled water is no longer available for sale at UTM.
To ensure that campus community members have access to drinking water, UTM has installed or upgraded a total of 20 water fountains on campus with bottle-filling spouts. Currently, 50 percent of all campus fountains will have the ability to refill water bottles. In addition, there is at least one bottle-filling station in each UTM building (most large buildings have more). Free metal water bottles are also distributed to incoming students.
UTM's stormwater pond collects all stormwater from campus and naturally filters it before the water enters the Credit River. Besides improving stormwater quality, the pond also provides a habitat for wildlife. Birds such as Canada geese, mallard and wood ducks, cormorants, kingfishers and great blue herons are regularly spotted around the pond. Mammals such as American mink have also been seen around the pond.
Before the pond was constructed, this area was a parking lot.
In addition, many UTM campus buildings have green roofs (roofs that are planted with vegetation). Green roofs improve both stormwater quantity and quality by absorbing and filtering water. The following UTM buildings have green roofs:
- CCT (over parking garage)
- Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre (rooftop garden)
- Instructional Building
- Innovation Complex
- Health Sciences Complex
- Deerfield Hall
- North Building Phase B (under construction)
UTM has taken on many projects to reduce the amount of potable water used in campus buildings. Some of these projects include:
- low-flow fixtures in many of our newer buildings
- rainwater harvesting systems on the Instructional Building, Deerfield Hall, Health Sciences Complex, and North Phase B — collected rainwater is used for irrigation and toilet flushing
- cooling tower replacement
- softened cooling tower water
- reduction of water use in the Central Utilities Plant