Emory University Water Hub Implementation Model
Emory University, located on approximately 700 acres in DeKalb County, Georgia, is a top-tier institution recognized for its medical school and various professional programs, as well as its commitment to environmental sustainability. Over the last decade, sustainable water management has become a critical issue for the metro-Atlanta region, which has struggled with drought, legal disputes over water supply and EPA consent decrees on water quality issues. As a pioneer, community leader and home of the world renowned Center for Global Safe Water, Emory is seeking to comprehensively address local and global water challenges. The WaterHub project is an innovative, on-site solution designed to treat and reuse up to 400,000 gallons of water per day, and decrease potable water demand by over 1/3.
In 2011, Emory used an estimated 390 million gallons of water per year, equating to approximately 1.1 million gallons per day (GPD). Nearly 40% of this use (over 400,000 GPD) is considered non-potable water demand, and can thus be replaced with alternative water supplies. WaterHub reduces Emory’s dependence on potable water by reclaiming campus wastewater for non-potable reuse applications. The facility extracts wastewater from the municipal sewer system and treats it through adaptive, ecological technology. Once treated, reclaimed water is reused primarily as process make-up at three central chiller plants and the campus steam plant. Additional uses for reclaimed water include toilet flushing at select residence halls, all compliant with stringent Georgia plant regulations.