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- 5.5 Implement pilot projects for water reuse and / or non-potable water substitution
- 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
- 5. Water and Stormwater
Key Objective: 5.5 Implement pilot projects for water reuse and / or non-potable water substitution
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 5, objective 5, is "Through an open solicitation process, implement at least four pilot projects to showcase the potential of water and/or stormwater reuse by FY20, with the objective of implementing a broader program by FY25."
Potable water consumption on campus can be reduced by water reuse or by the substitution of non-potable water in some applications where potable water is currently used. Through an open solicitation process, campus could implement four projects by FY20 to showcase the capabilities and impact of this approach, with a broader rollout on campus by FY25.
Water reuse includes using water multiple times in a cascade of applications that generally have less stringent water quality requirements (i.e., reusing washing water for toilet flushing). It can also include some purification steps that increase the water quality as needed for the subsequent reuse application. The benefits of water reuse include a reduced draw on the aquifer or surface water supplies, and reduced energy and chemical consumption from water treatment processes and distribution. Currently, the campus does not practice a substantial amount of water reuse and does not have a specific strategy for increasing water reuse. Given the potential of water reuse to significantly reduce net water consumption, it could be vigorously pursued as a part of the overall strategy for water use reduction on campus.
Substitution of Non-Potable Water
Certain uses for water, especially irrigation, do not require water that is potable. The campus could actively investigate opportunities to use untreated raw water, sump pump discharge, wastewater from cooling towers, stormwater, and gray water in appropriate applications. Prototypes or pilot projects for collection and reuse of stormwater and air conditioning condensate could be undertaken in FY16. The Oak Street Chilling Plant sump discharge water could be upgraded to provide make-up water for the Central Plant Cooling Tower.