Aug. 18, 2014

In a climate as thirsty as Texas, it's important to make the most of available water. One of the ways in which the Facilities Department at St. Edward's demonstrates this is by using pool water to irrigate some of the grassy areas around the Recreation & Convocation Center. Repurposing the water on site saves it from having to be treated as wastewater by the City of Austin.

Twice each month, to keep the sand filter clean, members of the Facilities team take about 5 minutes to flush debris from the sand filter. This requires pushing about 1,800 to 2,000 gallons of water backward through the filter. This cleans the filter and allows it to continue to clean the pool water, keeping it crystal clear for swimmers to enjoy. Those discarded gallons are then pumped through a pipe that runs underground and out onto the west-facing lawn behind the pool area. The chemicals in the water are not injurious to the environment, and the additional water is beneficial to the grass.

The Facilities team understands the importance of water conservation. This practice was approved by the City of Austin and was adopted by the university in 2011. In more recent drought-torn years, this sustainable habit has become vital to the health of campus green spaces.