Pennsylania State University Reuse Planning

Client: Penn State University
Location: University Park, PA

We provided an update to the Reuse Water Study for the Pennsylvania State University – University Park (main) campus. As the University considered upgrades to its wastewater treatment system, opportunities arose for new innovation. Teaming with Hazen and Sawyer, the University studied additional reuse opportunities ranging from irrigation, cooling, and other permitted uses.

Beginning in 1983 with the full-scale implementation of the Living Filter spray fields, the University has been on the forefront of research into the reuse of treated wastewater.

A living filter spray header.

The Penn State Arboretum Fountain.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • We consulted on the development and implementation of a reclaimed water distribution system master plan.
  • Study included demand evaluations, including distribution system models, storage, and operational impacts on water quality.
  • We considered implementation issues including regulatory aspects, cost estimations, definition of end users/uses of water and required water quality, and on-campus industrial uses.
  • Dissolved solids and salinity mass balance throughout the water and wastewater system were used to predict water quality issues during various demand conditions.
  • We considered the potential impacts that the plan would have on current and future design and operation.
  • Developed a strategy for effective communication of the plan and results to stakeholders.

For more information on this project, or to discuss a similar project in your area, contact Mark Strahota at