Hazen and Sawyer to Design Water Reuse for Energy Production Process

Sustainability Goals Govern University of Connecticut Project

University of Connecticut Storrs campus

(Rocky Hill, CT – July 8, 2009) – Building upon a study Hazen and Sawyer recently completed for the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, the firm will design wastewater reuse process upgrades allowing the University to use reclaimed water in the production of electricity. The project will yield dual benefits of solving a growing water supply challenge faced by the University as it also puts wastewater to beneficial reuse in producing energy.

While such projects are new to the area, considered relatively water-rich compared to the rest of the U.S., they represent innovative progress towards long-term, sustainable management of our water and energy supplies. These resources are inextricably linked, and termed the water – energy nexus, in that producing energy often requires large volumes of water, while the treatment and distribution of water is equally dependent upon readily available, low-cost energy.

In the study phase, Hazen and Sawyer evaluated three alternative treatment trains for the reclaimed water facility based on the varying requirements of the reclaimed water end-uses. All three alternatives include filtration and disinfection of the wastewater effluent. The recommended alternative is a single treatment train that will provide reclaimed water both to the Central Utilities Plant, the on-campus co-generation power plant that provides heating, cooling, and electricity to University buildings, and also for irrigation of campus athletic fields. The wastewater treatment plant’s effluent will undergo microfiltration and UV disinfection before being stored in a 1MG storage tank for subsequent pumping to its end-uses on campus. Also, the existing Reverse Osmosis system, used to treat boiler feed water, will be modified to accept reclaimed water in lieu of potable water.

Water and wastewater treatment system design is driven by regulations that protect both public health and the environment. States such as Florida and California have already implemented water reuse due to a diminishing supply of potable water sources, and have established regulatory frameworks for evaluating these projects. As this is the first industrial water reuse project in Connecticut, such regulations have yet to be established. Hazen and Sawyer will be working with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and Connecticut Department of Public Health to develop the permitting requirements for this and future reuse projects.

For more than half a century, Hazen and Sawyer has focused on two things: providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. Our range of services encompasses the planning, design, and construction management of water and wastewater-related projects – from clean water treatment, storage, and distribution to wastewater collection and treatment. Since our founding in 1951, we have grown in size to over 740 employees in 26 offices.

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