Running water and plumbing are essential to our campus, but we don’t often think about how that water comes from its source to the faucet. The plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters put many hours of work into maintaining the sewer and water on campus.
Water and Plumbing is responsible for all of the plumbing, building drainage, water piping, steam piping, and wells on campus. They are also responsible for routinely testing the water contaminant levels. Where does our water come from anyways?
EWU has two wells that get water from the aquifer underground. That groundwater is pumped to the large tower (pictured above) where it is chlorinated for our safety. The water is routinely tested to ensure that it is safe to drink, and all of our water bottle fillers on campus have filters on them, ensuring that the water is safe to drink without the taste of chlorinated water.
Sewage is sent out to the city of Cheney to be treated in order to get rid of contaminants. Once it has been treated, and the majority of organic materials have been taken out of the water, it is sent out to wetlands owned by Cheney for the final step in the treatment process. The leftover nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are utilized by the wetland plants. The water is now completely treated and continues in the natural water cycle. These wetlands also provide habitat for many plants and animals. To learn more about how Cheney treats wastewater, visit City of Cheney.
Being mindful of water consumption is important when striving for sustainability. Water and Plumbing do their part by installing water bottle fillers all over campus. These help reduce single-use plastic waste, and the filters get rid of any leftover chlorine. Water and Plumbing also track our water usage, and fix leakage in pipes to save water. Recently a large 7 million dollar project to upgrade our water system was finished. This updated water system helps to create a more efficient way to get water from the tower to the faucet while avoiding water waste. Water and Plumbing plans to continue installing water bottle filling stations all over campus, and to continue installing motion sensor faucets, which also conserve water.
Reducing water usage is largely up to the individual. Water and Plumbing encourages us to be mindful of our water consumption. In the dorms, they hold water use competitions. Dorms will compete to use the least amount of water in a month. Competitions like these encourage students to be mindful of their water use.
Prepared by Sophia Wiley.