4th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Stephanie Ishii
Session Name Poster Session: Water quality protection and treatment
Poster Number 70
Author(s) Stephanie Ishii,  University of Florida (Presenting Author)
  Treavor Boyer,  University of Florida
  Urine source separation at the University of Florida: Assessing impacts and student support from a life cycle perspective
  Reevaluation of the current water–wastewater paradigm is needed to advance the conservation and protection of natural resources. The drawbacks of conventional wastewater treatment have become increasingly apparent, including the use of potable water for waste conveyance and the insufficient removal of contaminants from wastewater prior to discharge. Furthermore, wastewater treatment must cease to be viewed as the handling of unwanted residuals and instead be treated as the opportunity to recover valuable resources, such as water, fertilizer, and energy. Alternative approaches to wastewater management involving urine source separation provide the opportunity to simultaneously and radically improve multiple aspects of wastewater treatment. Urine source separation is the separate collection and treatment of urine through the use of urine diverting toilets and waterless urinals. Urine source separation reduces the demand for potable water and allows resources and contaminants to be more specifically targeted for removal. Previously conducted and ongoing studies have addressed the technical challenges associated with urine source separation; however, the social implications of urine source separation and community support for this alternative water-wastewater system are largely unknown. The goal of this work is to evaluate student support for the implementation of urine source separation at the University of Florida. This will be achieved through the dissemination of an online survey to dormitory residents. Survey questions are designed to designate individuals as “supporters” or “rejectors” of this alternative water-wastewater system based on declared intentions and predicted behavior, e.g., willingness to pay and willingness to change behavior. Furthermore, surveys include questions to determine the major drivers of an individual’s support, such as perceived environmental and economic impacts, social norms, and ability. Lastly, the relationship between respondent support and the dissemination of life cycle assessment data pertaining to urine source separation at the University of Florida is investigated.