Op-ed: Upgrading laundry room is the key to water conservation

by Austin Callaway
edited by Tyler Aragao

Franklin Pierce has a problem with low water tables around campus and turned to students to fix the problem.

(Photo: Mary Call)

Last year was unusually dry. Even with all the recent snow and rain, the water tables are still low and it’s understandable that the University needs to try to save water. But asking everyone to take shorter showers or to minimize water when brushing teeth is unrealistic. Everyone will continue their daily routines even with the warning because it isn’t fair to ask the student body to “reduce shower times.”

“I find it hilarious to ask students to take shorter showers when the University doesn’t even bother fixing the leaking faucets and broken showers,” said freshman Alexis LaPointe.

Residential Life explained that the University has been told by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to try to limit normal water usage. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has sent a similar request to all residents of New Hampshire as well.

“The university averages about 70,000 gallons of water used every day, so if we as a university population can use water wisely then the wells that supply our water will remain viable,” said Dough Lear, Director of Plant Operations.

(Photo: Austin Callaway)

If a university knows about the low water levels then why wouldn’t they be looking for ways to fix the problem? Taking care of leaking faucets and broken showers is a small step that can go a long way. But the campus can really make an impact by upgrading the laundry rooms so that the machines are more efficient and leakage is less common. These improved machines can also signal when maintenance is needed.

Upgrading the laundry machines to high efficiency front loading washers allows the machines to be monitored through technology. Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, is an example of a school that uses these upgraded washers and they have saved the school over 755,638 gallons of water since 2006, according to Mother Nature Network.

“The washers in Granite Hall have overflown and even burned my clothes at some points. I am surprised that Residential Life hasn’t motioned towards a change in the laundry room,” said freshman Mason Wickline.

This is a chance that the University should take to improve water conservation instead of making students change their daily routines. This will not only save water, but it will make life in the dorms easier.

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