A University that is home to a top-tier medical center and a campus community exceeding 50,000 people, has an extensive district energy system – requiring uninterrupted service. Responding to severe drought in 2007, the University started developing a comprehensive water management strategy to minimize water supply risk. This case study will explore the evolution, lessons learned, and current planning initiatives of the University’s water management program, designed to increase reliability and utility water resiliency. In 2015, the University finished construction on a stormwater reclamation pond. The 5.5 acre pond captures stormwater from roughly 22% of the main campus drainage area and acts as a water harvesting device. Located adjacent to Chilled Water Plant 2, the pond supplies 100 million gallons annually for cooling tower make-up. Apart from a 45% reduction in total utility water demand, the reclamation pond serves as a stormwater control measure for over half of campus, creates a natural habitat, improves the local watershed, and provides an outdoor living laboratory connected to its education community.As a continuation of the innovative campus water resiliency strategy, the University is moving forward with the design of a district-scale water reclamation and reuse system. Similar to Emory University, the University is looking toward an ecological engineered system known as the WaterHub. The goal of the project is to work in concert with the existing Reclaimed Water Pond to eliminate nearly all potable water use is west campus utility operations. This includes remaining potable water demands at Chilled Water Plant #2 and the West Campus Steam Plant. The project will significantly reduce the University’s overall impact to the environment, while conserving community water resources for more beneficial purposes.With a hydraulic design rate of 600,000 million gallon per day the process design will include hydroponic reactors in addition to membrane bioreactors for tertiary-level treatment. Final effluent will pass through a dual disinfection process as well as a reverse osmosis system. At less than 10,000 square-feet, the system has a small physical footprint – designed for an urban environment. Now in the schematic design phase, construction is slated to begin in the Spring of 2019. The campus expects commercial operations to begin in the Winter of 2020. In the first year of operation, the University is expecting to reclaim an estimated 225 million gallons per year. This will result in an estimated 40% reduction in both wastewater discharges and potable water use on campus.
Bob Salvatelli, Sustainable Water
1800 West Park Drive, Suite 350
Westborough, MA 01581 USA
Phone +1 (508) 366-9339
Fax +1 (508) 366-0019
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