Fight the Flow
Project Leads: Maia Kapur, Morwenna Rowe, Emily Wong
Sponsor: PowerSave Campus
TGIF Grant: $3,696
Project Theme: Water Conservation & Tap Water
Project Description: Fight the Flow installed UZLOW shower valves and educational signs in residence hall Unit 3’s bathrooms to reduce the consumption of water. Give-away of organic shampoos & soaps, and shower timers also occurred.
Goals: Install UZLOW shower valves and after ten weeks measure Unit 3’s water consumption and energy use compared to a baseline set by a campus-wide water audit performed in 2009. If 40% of residents use the valve, potential environmental benefits include 571,050 gal of hot water and 1,875 therms saved, equal to $4,445 in water and heating costs and 26,408 lbs. of CO2 emissions diverted. This project will help UC Berkeley reach its goal of 1990 GHG emission levels by 2014. Current Unit 3 showerheads use 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm). UZLOW valves would reduce flow to .31 gpm, a savings of 1.69gpm. The UZLOW is used an average of 3.5 minutes per shower for a savings of 5.9 gallons per shower.
About the UZLOW valve: When utilized, the UZLOW valve reduces water and natural gas (used to heat water) consumption by reducing hot water flow when shampooing, shaving, or soaping up. In this low position, the valve allows just enough water to flow, so water stays at the original temperature. There is no burst of cold water when switching back to regular flow, making this a popular option for residents.
UZLOW LLC is a small, locally owned company that has helped immensely in the development and implementation of this project. Philip Bautch (owner of UZLOW) accommodated this grant’s large orders and has subsequently received large requests from other campuses pursuing similar retrofits.