UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: Utilities :: UTDBP3081 (v1)

Utilities - UTDBP3081

Policy Statement

Purpose and Scope

The Physical Plant is responsible for maintaining all utility service lines in good repair and proper operating condition. Utility services lines include:

  • Water,
  • Gas,
  • Air,
  • Steam,
  • Chilled Water,
  • Sanitary Sewer,
  • Storm Sewer, and
  • Electricity.

Changes, modifications, maintenance and other associated work performed on these utility service lines will be done by the Physical Plant as an institutional service (see "Institutional Services," this section) where these lines serve the University in general. Where only departmental needs are served, any work performed by the Physical Plant will be done as a departmental service (see "Departmental Services," this section), including all installations, operations, maintenance and repairs. However, it is often difficult to precisely define the point at which a utility service line ceases to be institutional and becomes departmental. Unless exceptions are established between a department and the Physical Plant, the following divisions will be used:

Utility Service LineDivision
1. Steam, water, air, gas, chilled water At mains in the ceiling of the floor below, or at mains in the ceiling above, or at the floor at a point where the nearest appropriate connection becomes possible from a main or main branches to the departmental equipment being served.
2. Electricity At the nearest feasible disconnecting device.
3. Waste lines (sanitary and storm sewers) At a point near the ceiling or floor below the departmental installation being served where a connection can be made.

Where utilities are consumed for departmental needs in such quantity as to make metering feasible, the cost of these metered utilities will be borne by the appropriate departments.

Conservation of Utilities

Every person at UTD should be aware of the high cost of utilities. As a group, we must make a concerted effort to conserve the limited resources available for two (2) reasons:

  1. Current energy sources are rapidly dwindling and new proposed sources are coming into use at a very slow rate.
  2. Due to a general energy shortage, user costs are increasing.

It should be the concerned effort of everyone at the University to conserve energy where possible. This can be done through a conscious effort and a knowledge of ways to save energy. Some examples include:

  1. Fluorescent lighting should be turned off if the area being lit will be vacated for more than one (1) hour. Otherwise leave the lighting on.
  2. Equipment using electrical power should be turned off when not in use for even brief periods.
  3. Doors to buildings should be kept closed except when someone is entering or exiting. Doors which are propped open cause the heating/air conditioning systems to work harder, thus increasing the utilization of electricity, steam or chilled water, and gas.

The Physical Plant is willing to discuss other feasible methods of energy conservation with University personnel at any time. If there are questions regarding the use of utilities, contact the Physical Plant (Ext. 2141).

General Policy

The magnitude and complexity of utility service lines at UTD prevents each University department from efficiently and economically monitoring, altering or otherwise changing services to suit particular needs without upsetting the balance of utilities distribution. Any attempt to do so could result in personal injury, structural damage or utilities contamination.

For these reasons, the following policies have been established and must be followed:

  1. Discontinuance of Services - Only the Physical Plant may disconnect, interrupt, diminish, or otherwise change a utility service line. If discontinuance of a service is desired, a properly completed Work Request form (see Exhibit G2) should be forwarded to the Physical Plant using the procedure "Request for Services," outlined in this section.
  2. Cross-Connecting Services - Under no circumstance may any two (2) or more different utility services be cross-connected temporarily or permanently in either institutional or departmental areas. Cross-connections between similar utilities may be performed only by the Physical Plant. Requests for cross-connections must be submitted via the procedure "Request for Services," as outlined in this section.
  3. Connections to Services - Connections to existing institutional and departmental utility services may be made only by Physical Plant personnel. Requests for connections must be submitted on a Work Request form (see Exhibit G2) using the procedure "Request for Services," as outlined in this section.

Electrical Energy

The electrical energy distributed at UTD has a variety of characteristics which are based on the intended application. Care must be exercised by personnel to ensure electrical sources and outlets are used only for the intended purpose. Failure to do so may lead to equipment damage, "burnt-out" fuses, actuation of tripping devices such as circuit breakers, and possible physical harm to the individual operating the equipment.

Due to inherent hazards associated with the use of electricity, only the Physical Plant will operate, maintain and repair facilities which distribute electrical power, such as substations, electric motors, motor control centers, bussing stations, etc. Under no circumstances may any unauthorized person modify, add to, dismember, remove, disconnect, relocate or otherwise alter any part of the University electrical system. Where electrical outlets are provided, use must be limited to the purpose intended. Any electrical problems should be reported as outlined in the procedure "Request for Services," this section.

Heating and Air Conditioning

The Physical Plant is responsible for adjusting, balancing and repairing building heating and cooling systems. This can become difficult when individuals adjust room thermostats which have been preset at 68°F during the heating season and 76°F during the cooling season. Individual adjustments upset the flow and balance of air throughout a building which, in turn, causes uncomfortable changes in other building areas. This cycle magnifies until the entire building comfort conditioning system is out of balance, causing discomfort to occupants and wasted energy.

If a heating or cooling problem is discovered, it should be reported to the CDAS Operator at Ext. 2147.


All water used by UTD is purchased from the City of Richardson. The systems employed to distribute water are carefully designed to avoid contamination and the Physical Plant is responsible for safeguarding and maintaining this system as it affects the University. Therefore, all personnel and departments using water resources must refrain from activities which could contaminate the water supply.

Report problems with the water system or supply to the Work Control Supervisor (Ext. 2177).

Policy History

  • Issued: 1997-09-29