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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Decision to Delay Water Repairs Costly

As the Mass Media reported last week, three hoses attached to dysfunctional filtrine units designed to filter drinking water in the Healey Library, McCormack, and Science Buildings, are dumping unused water continuously down the drain at flow rates of just below 1.6 gallons per minute. This is being done in an attempt to prevent lead contamination in UMB drinking water. Tentative figures had placed the amount of water drained from these hoses at well over 1 million gallons to date. However, new figures estimate UMass Boston has dumped approximately 1.9 million gallons since February.

The totals for the 2000-2001 fiscal year place UMass Boston’s water bill at $254,900, and total university consumption around 32 million gallons. According to these figures, provided by the UMB Office of Administration and Finance, the university has dumped approximately $15,000 worth of water down the drain. With the university on pace to waste over 2.5 million gallons of water annually, by February, UMass Boston will have wasted approximately $20,000 in unused drinking water.

According to David Mackenzie, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, a proposal has been submitted to the university to repair the broken filtrine units. The cost is approximated at $100,000 for the four units in disrepair. “There are a lot of things on our list,” said Vice Chancellor Mackenzie, “right now, this is about fifth. The others before it involve issues of safety.”

A decision to delay water system repairs, in light of other priorities, would result (after approximately four years) in the dollar amount in wasted water equaling that of the proposed plan to fix the filtrine units. However, as more time in this case equals more water down the drain, should a decision to wait that long be made, the amount of water dumped into the sewer unused would amount to approximately 12.5 million gallons.