Sorry! Please use next bathroom


‘Repurposed’ Sandwich Board Sign

Yes it‘s exactly what it sounds like. We have kept a lot of people from entering the restroom for the last couple of days. The signboard with the words ‘Caution: Interns at work’ has been my buddy for the last two weeks. It has almost toured the whole university campus with me, just resting in my bag and at times getting down when we reach our destination: The Restroom. Placed right outside the door, it did a good job annoying the public. But before you put all the blame on it, let me tell you it has a very appealing look. It could catch anybody’s eyes with its beautiful decoration.

My internship position is Water assessment. I along with a co-intern, assess the water usage in the campus. The water audit of the campus is very essential if you want a sustainable environment. I took this opportunity to help my university become a zero wastage green campus. So our work all began with making a list of restrooms that had faulty faucets or toilets or urinals. By the word faulty I don’t say that they are dysfunctional. Rather, the ones whose measured flow rate of water deviates largely from their listed values are faulty. After we completed our list, we conveyed its significance to the respective building managers, who then gave us permission to access the bathrooms. It didn’t come easy. We had to bug them with emails and phone calls, just to get our tasks done.

How do we audit?  It’s very simple! We carry a plastic bag marked with different volume levels. We put it beneath the faucet and run water for five seconds, and then we compare the results. For urinals and toilets, we calculate the flush running time. Nobody could imagine how I feel when I bend my head down into the toilet to look for the listed value. Though it isn’t a very fun job, I enjoy working with my chatty co-intern and friend, who makes our work very engaging. We cooperate with each other fully and give our best to make this internship a success!

by: Anubandha Anand