Sustainable Campus

Water Efficiency

The USF St. Petersburg campus is committed to implementing comprehensive water conservation programs to reduce the overall water consumption on campus. The Conservation Plan for the campus is modeled to conserve and protect the quantity and quality of potable water sources, groundwater sources and designated recharge areas.

Water Conservation/Efficiency Goals

  • Implement water conservation measures for all new building construction and new campus common areas.
  • Protect Bayboro Harbor, a designated Outstanding Florida Waterway
  • Utilize xeriscape landscape treatments on campus.
  • Explore alternative water sources such as reclaimed water, rain water harvesting etc.

Supply & Demand

The water at USF's St. Petersburg campus is supplied by the City of St. Petersburg. The campus is also supplied with reclaimed water for irrigation purposes.

Projects/Current efforts

1. Water Refill Stations

This project was first initiated in 2012 and since then 32 stations have been installed over the years throughout campus. The Elkay EZH2O® bottle refill stations offer an alternative to endless amounts of plastic water bottles. The refill station features a sanitary no-touch sensor with an automatic 20-second shut off timer. The refill station has a quick fill rate and it counts the quantity of plastic bottles diverted from the waste stream and displays the number on a green lcd screen. The refill station also features a 3000 gallon capacity WaterSentry® Plus filtration with a visual LED Filter Monitor to indicate when replacement is necessary. 

  • These refill stations have replaced the use of 610,135 plastic bottles.

2. Water Efficient Fixtures

Multiple buildings across campus have earned LEED points for having water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technologies and water-use reduction properties. Learn more about our LEED Buildings.

3. Florida Friendly Plants

The campus is surrounded by plant species that are indigenous to the natural plant communities of the Tampa Bay area. In cases where non invasive exotic plants are used to enhance the landscape, plantings are limited to those non-invasive species that are able to resist periods of drought and which require little fertilization and the use of pesticides. 

4. Rain Garden

The Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance,  parking lot 19b and parking lot 5b incorporate rain gardens, which contribute to effective stormwater management. Not only do these rain gardens act as a carbon sink and reduce the amount of automotive waste entering waterways, but they replenish the groundwater supply and create a native ecosystem within the urban landscape.