Water Conservation Measures

Mary Washington’s unique position in the Chesapeake Bay watershed presents us with great responsibilities for conservation, and great opportunities to preserve this unique estuary. We strive to do this through water-saving retrofits, storm water management outreach, and raparian buffer restoration.


The second Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) undertaken by UMW in the performance contract with NORESCO was water conservation. The contract included an energy audit and outlined ECMs to be put in place through a partnership of NORESCO contractors and UMW Facilities Services. The water conservation measure or ECM2 has resulted in multiple changes to our water fixtures and water usage through out the University.

  • 1,033 toilet fixtures with an average water flush of 3.4 to 5 gallons of water were replaced with fixtures that use exactly 1.6 gallons per flush
  • Sink faucets and shower heads were replaced to reduce the average flow from 3.1 gallons per minute to new rates of 2.2 gallons in kitchens, 1.5 gallons in resident’s rooms and apartments and 0.5 gallons in general use sinks
  • Customer comfort was improved when old dual fixtures, with separate faucets for hot and cold water, were replaced with dedicated hot and cold faucets enabling the water temperature to be blended
  • All porcelain fixtures were recycled
  • Significant maintenance savings due to the quality of fixtures, auto reset on flush valves and reduced stock inventory due to continuity of brands
  • The ECM2 initiative is scheduled to pay for its self in 6 years and has reduced campus water consumption by 50%
  • UMW and NORESC0’s water conservation efforts have resulted in the reduction of greenhouse gases equivalent to the removal of 31 cars from the road, the annual gases produced by 15 households in a year and the planting of 42 acres of trees.