Water used in DOE schools comes from New York City’s municipal water system, which is managed by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Starting in 2012, the DOE and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partnered to install new, high efficiency, water-efficient fixtures in the bathrooms of over 500 DOE school buildings. Overall, the project will upgrade nearly 40,000 bathroom fixtures and is projected to reduce citywide water consumption by approximately four million gallons per day. The approximately $31 million retrofit project is being funded by DEP.
In FY 16, 100 schools received bathroom fixture retrofits, for a total of 8,199 fixtures, including 6,109 low-flush toilets and 2,090 urinals. Since the program began in 2012, an estimated 19,000 fixtures have been replaced at 200 schools. As a result of this retrofit, the old porcelain fixtures that were removed from schools are crushed and prepared to create an oyster reef in Jamaica Bay. This partnership with DEP and DOE allows us to show our students a real world connection to sustainability!
The water conservation project is part of New York City's Water for the Future Program, a $2.1 billion initiative to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for nine million New Yorkers for decades to come. As part of the Program, DEP will repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the City's daily drinking water needs. In order to make repairs to the Aqueduct, the tunnel must be temporarily shut down between 2020 and 2021. In addition to supplementing the city's water supply during the shutdown, DEP aims to reduce citywide water consumption by 5% through conservative programs.