“From the Source – Tap Water as a Sustainable Alternative”

EPA Grant Number: SU833937
Title: “From the Source – Tap Water as a Sustainable Alternative”
Investigators: Cousineau, Randy , Riley, Melinda
Institution: Butte College
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 31, 2008 through July 31, 2009
Project Amount: $9,995
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The major technical challenge to sustainability is reduction of use of plastic bottled water and bottled water in general. This will be done by a student administered water assessment survey on campus, coupled with a public education campaign on the benefits of using tap water and on-site filtrations systems. A key objective will be understanding the costs of transporting bottled water, vs. on-site usage that reduces the overall carbon footprint of the college. An evaluation will determine the results of the survey, student perceptions, and reduction in the waste stream of water bottles.


The objective is to reduce the amount of bottled water consumption and to supplant that consumption with tap water.


The approach will consist of determining the concerns of students have over the consumption of tap water and why they are willing to pay for something that they could otherwise get for free. The first step will be to survey the students as to their real concerns over drinking tap water. The second part will be to develop a marketing scheme that would target those misconceptions concerning tap water. Lastly, a water filter vending machine will be placed on campus to promote the use of locally supplied water.

Expected Results:

The expected results, in general, will be to reduce the amount of bottled water consumed on campus and to change the behavior of the students’ consumption of water outside of the campus setting by supplementing bottle water for tap water in their daily lives.

Supplemental Keywords:

Public water supply,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report