Water Learning Story

In 2021, we have been focusing on completing both the water module and have been working towards achieving our 4th star. Prior to completing the water module, a snapshot of our water usage was at 4.58 KL per student per year. However, through conducting a water audit at the end of Term 1 and start of Term 2 of our school by our student environment team we identified areas we could focus on to reduce our water use. A snapshot of our water usage can be seen in Figure 2.

Below is a summary of the data obtained from the audit along with suggested recommendations.

Item Quantity Type Water source Comment
Toilets 79 100% dual flush Potable There were no leaks in any of the toilets. All the toilets were dual flush. A dual flush toilet uses between 3L-6L of water compared to a single flush toilet which can use between 11L-15L
Urinals 10 80% Sensor

20% Timed

Potable There were no leaks in any of the urinals. Sensor systems improve water efficiency and improve user hygiene. Can the controls be turned off during out-of-school hours and during holidays?
Taps 185 60% – timed push

40% – Twist

Potable There were no leaks associated with any of the taps. Need to check the flow rates of the taps. Best practice suggests that they should flow at a rate of 4.2L per minute. May need to place flow control/aerators. Standard taps have a flow rate of 12L per minute.
Drinking fountains 18 100% Push handle Potable Good working order, no leaks. Investigate the benefits of potentially installing a refill hydration station – provide an alternative to unhealthy drinks, reduce plastic waste, encourage better hydration, and give students a way to get enough water daily and keep them well-hydrated.
Water tanks 12 – various sizes and locations 137000L

Total Capacity

All in good working order. Capacity of tanks is 137000L. Tanks used for various purposes around the school– kitchen and food tech gardens, barn, soccer field etc. New primary building will have a 25000L tank used for toilets.
Other water items –

Urns,

Dishwasher

Washing

Machines

16 Potable All in good working order. Not all urns fitted with timers. Fitting urns with timers have the potential to save on energy costs, or if possible, lower the thermostat. A well-placed wall sign may also be a good idea. Promote full dishwasher/washing machine use. A dishwasher will use 22.71L per load, while hand washing uses approx. 11-12L per minute. Need to check water efficiency ratings of appliances.

Figure 2 Aitken Water usage (Snapshot)

Water usage Kilolitres (KL)
March Snapshot (8/03/21 – 18/03/21) 4.58KL per student
May snapshot (17/05/21 – 21/05/21) 2.03KL per student
Water usage to date (03/08/21) 3.56KL per student
Benchmark (as per Sustainability Victoria) 4.00KL per student

To reduce the amount of water use at the school, the Environment team focused on implementing the following actions:

  • Install signage about water conservation practices in staffroom, toilets and bathrooms, classrooms and other areas around the school.
  • Check flow rates of taps to make sure they are in line with best practice

They have also recommended that the school look into bottle refill stations and have a local waterways project that students can be involved in, such as development of Brodie’s Creek – Wildlife corridor. We should also look at current irrigation methods, as well as the rinse and wash protocols in place for Food Tech, Science etc.

The initiatives that we have implemented at Aitken College through participating in ResourceSmart Schools water program are making a difference on a whole school scale with respect to water conservation. ResourceSmart Schools has guided our practices in the areas of curriculum, campus, culture and community and continues to provide clear goals moving forward.

By Aitken College|2021-08-04T12:25:29+10:00August 4th, 2021|0 Comments
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