Three Colleges On One Campus Choose Zurn For Water Projects


Metro Student Union Building (Photo Courtesy Jason Hudson)

Prompted by federal lead-free laws that went into effect in January 2014, three separate colleges located on the shared, 150-acre Auraria Campus in downtown Denver, CO chose Zurn Industries, LLC to provide engineered water solutions.

Auraria Campus is shared by three separate institutions of higher learning: Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and University of Colorado Denver. It serves a collective student population of about 42,000 and an additional 5,000 faculty and staff. In addition, the campus has an NCAA Division II champion basketball team along with a number of other collegiate teams that use the Physical Education building. This building has showers and other equipment that rely on large volumes of tempered water protection.

Tivoli Building
(Photo Courtesy Jason Hudson)

Services and facility management on the Auraria Campus are handled by a separate state entity: The Auraria Higher Education Center. All three colleges share a deferred maintenance fund program for all projects and, therefore, all three institutions must agree on what projects to pursue.

More than 100 Zurn Wilkins backflow preventers of various sizes were installed for isolation, containment, and irrigation systems. The campus also installed about 100 Zurn point-of-use tempering valves for lavatory sinks. With the new federal no-lead law as a catalyst for change, the Zurn Wilkins 350XL and 375XL backflow preventers were selected for their modularity, ease of service, and lead-free law compliance.

Facilities Building Mech Room
(Photo Courtesy Jason Hudson)

“Having the ability to remove and replace the plastic body containing the checks and the redundancy of the same device in multiple locations, it became a no-brainer to use Zurn throughout the campus,” said Tom Johnson, Plumbing and Steam Systems Supervisor for the campus. “With the new lead-free law that went into effect, this project was a priority because backflow prevention is a safety issue.”

Tempering valves were another safety issue. The campus, which includes a large childcare facility, primarily utilizes steam for water heating. For both faucet and shower bank needs, the Zurn Wilkins 1070XL and 3870XL thermostatic mixing valves were utilized to temper the hot water systems to a safe temperature, avoiding the risk of burns or scalding.

“Safety and updating our childcare facilities to new codes and standards are personal to the members of the plumbing shop and management here,” said Johnson. “They are also vital to their accreditation.


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