OWASA and UNC Win WateReuse 2009 Institution of the Year Award
New System Projected to Reduce Drinking Water Demand 12%
(Raleigh, NC – July 28, 2009) – The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (University), will receive the 2009 WateReuse Institution of the Year Award, to be presented at this year’s annual WateReuse symposium. The WateReuse Awards Program recognizes excellent water reuse and desalination projects and practitioners that advance reuse, have a new reclamation twist, or have made significant contributions to water reuse.
OWASA and the University recently completed the joint development of a new reclaimed water (RCW) system that now serves the University’s main campus area, which accounts for about 25 to 30 percent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community’s water demands. The reclaimed water is currently being used as make-up water in the cooling towers located at various chiller plants on the campus. The next stage of the project will make RCW available for irrigation of a number of sites and for toilet flushing at certain non-residential buildings. Hazen and Sawyer designed the system to be easily expanded to serve additional customers and demands where it is economically feasible to do so.
In late-2002, OWASA and the University hired Hazen and Sawyer to complete a comprehensive RCW feasibility study. Completed in June 2003, the study concluded that it would be environmentally, technically, and economically feasible to develop a RCW system that would initially serve the University’s main campus.
Construction of the first stage of the project was completed in April 2009, and the construction on the second stage is currently underway. The RCW system already provides many important benefits to the community and the University:
• Enables OWASA to meet the community’s non-drinking water needs in a more cost-effective way, while freeing up the drinking water supply and treatment capacity to meet essential needs.
• Lowers the risk for all customers during water shortages due to droughts or other conditions.
• Enables OWASA to optimize the use of its locally-protected public water supplies.
• Helps OWASA defer the need for certain long-term capital improvements by reducing demand for drinking water. The use of RCW will reduce peak-day drinking water demands, thereby enabling OWASA to defer expansion of its water treatment plant.
• Helps protect water quality by further reducing the release of nitrogen and phosphorus in OWASA’s final treated wastewater discharged to Morgan Creek, which flows into Jordan Lake, the raw water supply source for the Towns of Cary and Apex, NC. Limiting nitrogen and phosphorus is important in controlling the growth of algae, which can reduce water quality and increase the cost of drinking water treatment.
• Provides the University and UNC Hospitals an alternative water source for allowable non-drinking purposes in the event of droughts, water main breaks, and other emergencies, thereby helping to ensure that critical facilities (such as chiller plants) will have adequate water in such conditions.
The WateReuse Awards are an annual program of the WateReuse Association. The WateReuse Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the beneficial and efficient use of water resources through education, sound science, and technology using reclamation, recycling, reuse, and desalination for the benefit of their members, the public, and the environment.
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.