(Bel Air, Md., April 6, 2011) – As the 2011 celebration of Earth Day approaches on April 22, Harford Community College announces that it has captured and recycled 854,000 gallons of rainwater since 2006 as a result of three new rain collection systems that have been installed on campus.
Over the past 30 years, the overall amount of water usage on Harford Community College’s campus has remained steady despite the campus expanding its physical presence during that time by 170,000 gross square feet.
According to reports maintained by Harford Community College and reported to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Harford Community College withdrew 4.2 million gallons of water in 1979. The gross square footage of the campus at that time was 300,000, and the average water use was 14 gallons per square foot.
Fast forward more than 30 years to 2010. In that year, Harford Community College withdrew 4.2 million gallons of water. The gross square footage of the campus is now 470,000, and the average water usage is 8.9 gallons per square foot.
It is estimated by college officials that more than two million gallons of water have been saved each year since 1979 due to its water efficiency practices.
The installation of three rainwater collection areas over the past five years has helped to decrease the amount of water the campus would typically withdraw for use.
In 2006 one 20,000 gallon rain collection tank was installed in Joppa Hall. The following year, 2007, three 2,000 gallon water collection tanks were installed in Havre de Grace Hall. In 2010 four 1,000 gallon tanks were installed in the main lobby of Aberdeen Hall.
The collected rainwater is used in numerous ways, from flushing restroom fixtures in Havre de Grace Hall to watering plants in the Aberdeen Hall greenhouse to providing water for Joppa Hall’s energy-efficient evaporative cooling tower which serves a 78,000 square foot building.
“Harford Community College is aggressive in conserving water and always has been,” said Stephen P. Garey, capital projects coordinator. “We strive to protect and safeguard our limited natural resources on campus. Zero irrigation, use of gator bags for watering trees, hand-watering plants and water-saving devices in restrooms are among the ways we conserve water on campus.”
More information about Harford Community College’s water efficiency efforts may be found at www.harford.edu/GreenHCC.
Harford Community College is a dynamic, open-access institution that promotes lifelong learning, workforce development and social and cultural enrichment serving more than 22,000 students. For more information, visit www.harford.edu.