Rahway Water Champions Save Water, Save School Money

RAHWAY — Rahway High School’s Social Action Club, led by faculty Advisor, Liz Jotz, and AmeriCorp Watershed Ambassador, Steven Hruby, recently completed pre-water audits in a heavily trafficked restroom and calculated a cost-benefit analysis, showing new fixtures would save over $6,500 in water costs yearly.

They presented preliminary findings to the Rahway Board of Education, American Standard, U.S. EPA, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. Their presentation led American Standard to donate new fixtures worth $60,000 to the high school.


The Social Action Club members created Rahway Water Champions in conjunction with the NJDEP, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program and the NJ Watershed Ambassadors. The group’s objective is to take action in their school and community to promote water efficiency and publicize the EPA’s WaterSense® program, which identifies high efficiency plumbing products and their corresponding water savings.

Based on the student’s initial findings, the NJ Water Savers program provided a grant to cover the labor costs to update two bathrooms in the high school with new plumbing fixtures this summer. Once the fixtures are installed, the students will conduct a post audit to compare their projections to the actual water savings, plus measure the user satisfaction. In addition to finalizing their reports, the students will continue their outreach to the community to demonstrate the many ways New Jersey residents can “go blue” and save water as individuals.

Piscataway-based American Standard Brands donated the high efficiency faucets, toilets and urinals to the school as part of the company’s participation in the New Jersey Water Savers program. “The efforts of these students coincide well with American Standard’s goal to educate consumers that water conservation can and does begin at home – and at school,” said Don Devine, president and chief executive officer of American Standard Brands. “As a New Jersey employer, we are pleased to help a new generation learn the science of sustainable buildings.”

“We are greatly appreciative of American Standard’s contributions. The water efficient products they have donated will not only bring immediate water savings to Rahway schools but will demonstrate to Rahway residents how easy it is for anyone to take similar water saving measures right in their own homes,” said Jeffrey Robinson, Chairman to the Rahway Environmental Commission.

The partners in the Rahway Water Champions project, part of the New Jersey Water Savers Program, came together to hear the results of the water audit and analyses conducted by Rahway High School students. Pictured here are representatives from the federal government (U.S. EPA), state government (NJDEP, NJ Watershed Ambassadors Program), Rutgers University Water Resources Program, and corporate sponsor American Standard Brands.

The Rahway Water Champions Project through the New Jersey Water Savers Program was made possible through the successful partnership of government, business and municipalities. Part of the team that made it happen: AmeriCorps Ambassador Steven Hruby; corporate sponsor American Standard Brands’ Jeannette Long, Debbie Drury and Lisa Escudero; Rahway Public Schools Superintendent Edward Yergalonis; NJDEP Environmental Specialist Katie Barnett; and Rahway High School Interim Principal John Farinella.

Retiring Rahway High School Principal Paula Braxton provides words of encouragement to her students, members of the school’s Social Action Club, who presented the results of their audit and analyses of the school’s water usage. The students believe that Rahway High School can reduce its water usage by up to two-thirds by installing water efficient plumbing fixtures and faucets.

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