Water is important to all of us, particularly in the state of Maryland. Maryland is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which stretches across more than 64,000 square miles. The Chesapeake Bay watershed encompasses parts of six states and more than 17 million people call it home. The Chesapeake Bay’s land-to-water ratio (14:1) is the largest of any coastal water body in the world. This is why our actions on the land have such a big impact on the Bay’s health (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2012).
One of the most iconic symbols of the Chesapeake Bay is its Blue Crabs. To learn more about Blue Crabs in the Bay, check out this video from the Chesapeake Bay Program:
At Dining Services we do our part to help conserve water and keep the watershed healthy:
- Dish machines have been replaced with energy efficient steam heated equipment that uses 30% less water. In addition, the steam used to heat the water is recycled. This saves approximately 80,000 gallons of water per month – roughly the water used by 26 Maryland residents.
- An Opti Rinse technology dish-machine uses “large droplet” S-shaped rinse to reduce water consumption by more than 50% and energy usage by more than 50% compared to our current high efficiency dish machines.
- All water-cooled refrigerator systems have been replaced with air cooled systems or closed loop cooling tower systems. This eliminates the annual use of 150,000 gallons of water in these refrigeration systems.
- Dining Services uses biodegradable cleaning products especially in areas (e.g. loading docks) where the products could reach the storm water system and impact water quality.
- We have constructed containment devices to prevent cooking oils from leaking and entering streams or the storm water collection system.
- We use “green” ware washing detergents and rinse agents.
We are also proud to offer complimentary triple filtered water stations for use in the dining halls to help reduce the number of water bottles that end up in landfills or incinerators each year. Find out more about our waste diversion programs.
To learn more about campus initiatives promoting the health of the Chesapeake Bay, water conservation, and stormwater management, check out the Office of Sustainability’s website.