As Ithaca continues to grapple with the consequences of a second-stage drought, Cornell research labs have undertaken widespread efforts to reduce water usage, after prompting from the administration and the City of Ithaca.
Facilities directors and administrators have “encouraged students and staff to conserve as much water as possible,” according to Todd Pfeiffer, facilities director for Weill Hall, Clark Hall and the Physical Sciences Building.
For example, Pfeiffer said labs have attempted to reduce usage of “autoclaves and sterilizers” — devices that sterilize lab equipment with heat and high pressure — which he said “can use several hundred gallons of water every day to sanitize glassware.”
In Weill Hall alone, there are 18 autoclaves and nine glassware washers, and lab directors have instructed staff to “turn off equipment when not in use and to only run full loads,” according to Pfeiffer.
“When washing glassware in the sink, we are asking...