As part of the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative, UNC is researching ways to use less potable water and more reclaimed water.
At UNC specifically, reclaimed water is highly treated and then is pumped back to the University. This water is used to flush toilets in buildings on campus and in cooling towers.
Similarly, reclaimed water at UNC is integrated with the extensive rainwater harvesting program to create another non-potable water supply system. Rainwater that falls on campus is stored in lined, stone-filled cisterns underground which are capable of storing up to 350,000 gallons of water. This water is treated on-site and then used to flush toilets in the Genome Sciences Building and the Stone Center and in Kenan Stadium to irrigate the football field. If there is not sufficient rainwater for these purposes, reclaimed water is used as the backup water source.