UW Water RecaptureProject Size: Large, >$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF:
Letter of Intent:
Project Summary This project will capture wastewater generated by a reverse-osmosis (R/O) machine and use it to supply the needs of a cooling tower. All work will take place in the Mechanical Room of the Magnuson Health Science Building, BB-Wing. This project can be completed in as little as 5 weeks. We are working with Dennis Garberg to determine the exact timeline of the project. Project Impact and Goals Definition of Terms • Reject water – Wastewater generated through the reverse-osmosis water purification process. This is measured in gallons and cubic feet. • Make-Up – This is the term for water used in the cooling tower. Also measured in gallons and cubic feet. Environmental Impact – Currently the R/O water purification unit located in the BB-Wing of the UW Medical building disposes all of the reject water produced through a drain to the city’s wastewater system. Over an 8-month period, in 2012, the system measured to be 81,978 gallons of wastewater generated from the R/O unit. Over a similar period in 2011 the system measured 51,545 gallons of wastewater produced by the R/O unit. Give to give this some perspective that is enough water to meet a single individuals needs for nearly two years. Using this wastewater in the cooling tower would offset the need of nearly 66,000 gallons annually. This would also save the University of Washington roughly $1,600 per year. There is also potential to replicate this project at two or three other sites across campus, should this project perform as expected. Student Involvement – Students cannot undertake the actual modification process. However, this team developed the project and is coordinating and planning out the entire process with input from campus alterations. We have also been invited to oversee the project as it goes through construction and have been involved with the development of cut-sheets identifying the materials needed to complete the project. Furthermore, a team, led by Alex Chin, developed this project over the previous year. That team had graduated and moved on before the project was able to completed. Through collaboration the project has been reinvigorated with new leadership furthering the amount of student involvement with this project. Education & Outreach – This is a permanent, enduring project that will have measurable impact long into the foreseeable future. While it is not as out there as say the UW Farm or Green Wall this project will generate resource savings that are easily understood and can be publicized by the University of Washington through the Earth Day or Sustainability Summit celebrations. There is an additional opportunity for long-term student involvement for future phases of this project. Feasibility, Sustainability & Accountability – This project does not utilize any new technologies. All components are “off-the-shelf.” We have been in discussion with UW F&M project managers and they have are excited about this project. They estimate that at the very most, from obtaining financing to full completion, the project would take a maximum of 3 months. UW alterations has the technical know-how either in house or through contract to undertake all of the necessary step to complete this project. We have yet to determine a true budget and whether all or some of the work can be done in house by the UW. Due to the financial structure of the UW F&M division (which would be responsible for actual construction and realization of the monetary savings), there would be no possibility of savings being paid back directly to the CSF. However, there is a remote possibility of a grant to cover 30-50% of the project costs through Seattle Public Utilities. This option needs to be explored further but either way is a retroactive credit once the project is completed. Budget Estimate We estimate a budget of $10,000. This includes a buffer for cost overruns. This is an early estimate that will be explored and explained in much greater detail as we continue to work with the UW in determining the costs associated with this project.