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Executive Summary

All campus electricity, heating, cooling, air, and IT cables are supplied by the 8.5-mile network of utility tunnels underneath the campus. Within the tunnels, an underdrain system collects the leaking steam condensate and infiltrating groundwater and discharges it into the sewer main, Lake Union, or in vegetated areas on the Burke Gillman trail. This "nuisance" water represents a substantial water resource that could possibly be reclaimed as non-potable water. Possible uses for this water would be campus irrigation, dust control, or even an auxiliary supply to Drumheller Fountain. CSF has funded the testing of samples from various drain points to measure the concentrations of heavy metals and the presence of pathogenic bacteria. If the water is deemed suitable for reclamation treatment, a comprehensive report will be submitted to UW Sustainability, UW Facilities, and the Board of Regents.

Primary Contact:
Alexander Ratcliff