Austin Community College District is keenly aware of regional water issues including frequent cycles of drought and various stages of water restrictions. In order to conserve water and use student tuition responsibly, the ACC District employs a wide variety of water conservation solutions including:
Water-Smart Plant Selections: Native and Adapted Strategy
Water Saving Turf Guidelines
Reclaimed Water and Greywater
Low Flow Fixtures, Sinks, Urinals, and Toilets
Rainwater and Condensate Harvesting
Advanced Metering and Leak Detection
In 2011, ACC worked to make reclaimed water infrastructure available for the Riverside Campus. It was a collaborative effort between the City of Austin and ACC to prepare for the future development of the college and save resources.
In 2009, Purple Pipes (reclaimed water pipes) were installed at Round Rock Campus in collaboration with the City of Round Rock for future reclaimed water connection. In 2015, the City of Round Rock finalized the Reuse Water project nearby ACC Round Rock Campus. Now the campus is irrigated with the City's Reuse Water.
ACC has retrofitted water-saving plumbing fixtures throughout the district. This includes 0.35 gal/min faucet aerators, which cut down water usage by more than 80% from conventional faucets; Upper Cut Toilet Flush Handles which can save up to 1/2 Gal of water per flush; Water-Saving Urinals which use 1/8 Gal per flush.
Condensate water, the condensation that accumulates around cold compressor lines and chillers, is harvested into the rainwater collection cisterns and used for flushing toilets and irrigating landscaping.
Where possible, ACC avoids using potable water for purposes that do not require it, such as flushing toilets. This water can be sourced from rainwater collection, HVAC condensate, or purple pipe reclaimed water.
ACC prioritizes landscaping that supports wildlife, particularly pollinators. Every ACC campus has a Monarch Butterfly Waystation.
ACC’s rainwater collection cisterns are highly visible around the district. Collecting rainwater reduces stormwater runoff to prevent flash flooding in powerful storms and stores this water for use later when the rain stops and the landscape needs irrigation.