Emory University’s Clever Alternative for Water Treatment

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Emory University’s Clever Alternative for Water Treatment

Atlanta’s Emory University is a private institution that was founded in 1836. The University has ranked in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges and National Universities.  The University is committed to sustainable living on campus. Researching water treatment and supply has become a well-established initiative within classrooms.  The University has used experimentation to reevaluate the water treatment process. The main goal is to reclaim wastewater through an ecological treatment processes, mainly hydroponics.  It’s called the WaterHub, a compact facility that uses bacteria on plant roots to clean wastewater. It reduces potable water demand on campus by approximately 35 percent and could help build discernment regarding reclamation. The school also receives sewer credits as much of its water is diverted from the municipal sewer system.

It’s anticipated that the school will save millions of dollars over the next 20 years by replacing potable water with reclaimed. Georgia instituted statewide conservation mandates due to previous drought conditions. Atlanta also has the highest rates in the nation for most customer groups.  Emory’s water demand is about 1.1 million gallons a day, with 34 percent being consumed by six major utility plants and five satellite plants that heat and cool the campus. The WaterHub takes sewage from a county line that runs across the north part of the campus. A screen removes inorganic material before the wastewater flows through three moving-bed bioreactors. After a complex filtering process, it goes to a greenhouse where vegetation takes over the treatment process in a hydroponic reactor. The treatment systems take up just under 4,000 square feet.

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