A groundskeeping truck pulling a 300-gallon tank around campus that reads “Free Water From the Oakland Aquifer” represents one small part of Pitt’s green efforts.
Beneath Pitt lies the Oakland aquifer, stretching roughly from Herron Hill to Schenley Park. From mid-spring to early fall, Pitt groundskeepers access the water from the lower level of the Sennott Square parking garage. While building Sennott Square in 2001, a pump system was installed to keep the water from filling the construction site. After construction was completed, the continuous water flow provided a simple solution to watering the gardens on campus. Tapping the aquifer saves Pitt about $900 per year and substantially reduces ordinary water consumption on campus.