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Campus Water Study

A study of the existing campus water supply and distribution systems and assessment of water quality to identify potential infrastructure improvement projects.

Project Overview

The Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW) is the water purveyor for Purchase College.  There is a connection to their system at the south end of the campus, off of Anderson Hill Road, which supplies water to our existing water distribution infrastructure. This provides water to our academic and residential buildings, fire prevention systems, Heating Plant, irrigation systems, etc.  The existing distribution infrastructure was installed as part of the original campus design back in the 1970’s.

WJWW asked the campus to place a water backflow preventer near where our systems ties into theirs.  This prevents cross-contamination from the campus system.  An initial review of this indicated that installing a backflow preventer could result in a drop in water pressure to the campus.  This could impact building operations, including fire protection systems and the generating of steam at our Heating Plant.  Further investigation, including hydraulic modeling, was deemed necessary to understand the impact and what, if any, additional measures would be required.

Recent water testing on the campus identified a few locations which showed the presence of lead, copper, and coliform bacteria.  The campus has installed water filters at the locations used for drinking water that were either at or above the EPA action level, and has installed signs at other locations (at locations typically not used for drinking (i.e., non-residential restroom sinks, custodial closets, lab sinks, painting studio sinks, etc.).  New hydration stations have been installed in major buildings and in the residential halls, providing filtered and refrigerated water.  The campus has also  implemented an annual testing policy.  More information can be found on the Office of Environmental Health and Safety website.

The study to further investigate the impact of the backflow preventer installation and possible fluctuations in WJWW system demands on the campus distribution system as conducted by MJ Engineering & Land Surveying, PC.  They developed hydraulic modeling, provide an assessment of water quality throughout the campus distribution system, and identify potential infrastructure improvement projects to address these issues. 

They identified the need for a pumping station to be installed on campus to increase the water pressure losses created by adding the back flow preventor.  This study has become the basic of a new implementation project.

Lead Agency: The State University Construction Fund

Design: MJ Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.       

Contractor: None - Study Only

Budget:  $36,000

Project Manager: Lawrence Manganello