Our project is aimed at wastewater capture and reuse, from the reverse osmosis (R/O) unit in the BB-Wing of the medical sciences building. Through a series of storage tanks and pumps this wastewater will have a second use in the cooling tower located in the same room. Our project will reduce total water consumed in the building by repurposing a waste product as a usable resource.
In the larger picture this project represents a rather modest savings, however, reducing consumption of water lessens the impact on our overall water infrastructure and can be considered an adaptation strategy should the predicted impacts of climate change occur, including but not limited to reduced snow pack and water availability in the Pacific Northwest.
We are requesting $10,521 for this project. We predict this investment could be recouped in as little as 4-8 years. Based on measurements over the last two years this project may save between $1,250-$2,500 per year at the current water rate of $15 per hundred cubic feet (ccf). We hope this project can be a model for potential future projects in buildings with a similar setup. However, due to the structure of the University budgeting system we were not able to propose a loan or attempt to roll the savings into additional projects.
We have been working with Dennis Garberg, maintenance supervisor for the Health Sciences building zone, along with John Leaden, a retired facilities employee, and Michael Flanagan, Analyst for Finance and Business Services at Facilities Services.