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Environment & Science

Rainwater/Snowmelt Will Now Flush Toilets at the Carrier Dome

A view inside an industrial-looking room, with purple pipes, an orange pump, and large metal water tanks
John Smith

As the Carrier Dome’s roof protects Orange fans from the elements, now the rain run-off streaming down the Dome’s roof will be collected into two 25,000-gallon bulk storage tanks. The water captured will be chlorinated and then used to flush toilets in eight of the Dome’s restroom facilities. There will be about 8,000 gallons available for use throughout the facility, stored in an indoor room by the concourse. 
Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Matt Driscoll says it’s a sign of the times:
“New construction for new stadiums across the country are incorporating this technology, but this is the first that I’m aware of here. So this will capture about 900,000 gallons of storm-water run-off that would normally just go in the system.”

The idea unfolded when Bruce Wanlass, a Principal Engineer at the C&S Companies, attended a basketball game at the Dome. Wanlass gave us a tour inside the space where two interior storage tanks sit. The space used to hold beer.

When there’s a call for water, the water’s pumped-in through this treatment skit over here. Runs through some filtration, also runs through some ultra-violet lights that help kill-off any biological agents like that. And then it’s also treated with chlorine and it’s stored in these day tanks. So, it’s sitting there about 800-thousand gallons of water storage. When a toilet is flushed or a urinal is flushed, these pumps in front of us will kick-on. These are booster pumps… and pump water out to the restrooms out here on the north side of the Dome.”

The room is visible to Dome fans near Gate D and features an interactive presentation to learn more about it. Fans visiting the Dome may also notice the purple pipes running throughout the venue’s concourse. 

Pete Sala, Managing Director for the Carrier Dome, is impressed with the system so far: 

Syracuse University received a $1.35 million grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation to cover the bulk of the project. SU School of Architecture students studied the internal mechanisms utilized for construction and installation of the new system, and Civil and Environmental Engineering students also made future enhancement suggestions for the system through a class project.