Friday, June 13, 2008

Mall Waters Plants with Recycled Water

Landscaping at the Mall of Georgia is now being watered with “reuse water” instead of drinking water. A recently constructed two-mile, 24-inch pipeline makes it possible for the mall and a nearby Longhorn Steakhouse to use the highly treated but non-potable effluent from the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center.

A 20-mile pipeline from the Hill plant to the Chattahoochee River already brings inexpensive, processed water for irrigation and cooling to other users including Bear’s Best Golf Club, Bunten Road Park, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, The River Club, and Pinckneyville Park. State and federal regulations specify permitted uses.

“We value our partnership with the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources, and we are thrilled to work with them,” said the mall’s general manager, Joe Piccolo. “This project brings positive results to the community, ensures water conservation in the area and complements our other efforts like cardboard recycling and energy saving.”

The County expects to distribute about 300 million gallons of reuse water this year. The water is also available to tanker trucks for dust control and irrigation.

“If more large water users could make a similar switch, we could reduce demand for drinking water,” said Lynn Smarr with the County’s Water Resources Department. “This treated water poses no health risks and is currently returned to the Chattahoochee River.” Treatment includes screening, grit removal, sedimentation, aeration, clarification, coagulation, disinfecting ozonation, and filtering through activated carbon and ultra-filtration membranes.

“Especially with the drought conditions in Georgia, it just makes sense to conserve water and promote sustainability,” said Irish Horsey, the County’s reuse water manager.

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