As different parts of the country continue to face severe drought, building developers have started to implement creative solutions to ensure water availability. San Fransisco’s Salesforce Tower, which has been closed for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is just one such building that is taking water recycling measures into its own hands.
The tower’s black-water system will take in used water from daily operations and put it through a six-step filtration process. The clean, filtered water will then be reused in the building’s toilets and irrigation systems. The system, housed in the tower’s parking garage, has the capacity to filter approximately 30,000 gallons of water per workday. That’s over 7.8 million gallons in a year.
In a city that is facing severe drought, these efforts to reduce water use are essential. In California and in a growing list of states facing severe drought (including Utah, New Mexico, and Montana), water recycling systems are becoming a lot more appealing.
In downtown San Jose, California, Park Habit, an office tower that will soon be built, will include a black-water recycling system. Commercial developers are starting to implement more of this technology as states restrict water use and water costs rise. These water conservation efforts make a lot of environmental and financial sense given that droughts have become an everyday reality in many parts of the country.
Commercial real estate is a big consumer of water. In San Francisco, for example, commercial buildings account for about a third of the city’s water use. Given that water reuse technology has been around for a while and has been found to be easy to both install and operate, it is a no-brainer that more commercial real estate developers are getting on board with the implementation of water recycling systems in their buildings.
Mission Rock, another new San Francisco development breaking ground this year, will also use a black-water system. The 28-acre, $2.5 billion project is being led by the San Francisco Giants.
Water issues, of course, are not just a problem for Western states. In Brooklyn, New York, the Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment has plans to implement a black-water system that will reduce the building’s water use. The $10 million system will also reduce the refinery’s use of the area’s overloaded storm-water network.
The Domino project’s new system will be able to handle over 400,000 gallons of wastewater each day, and will decentralize the treatment of the refinery’s used water. Any runoff will be in the form of clean water, which can be diverted into the East River.
In cities across the United States (and the world), water reuse systems create a lot of positive change. They save both water and energy, and take a lot of pressure off of overburdened sewer systems. And in many cities, incentives are being offered to private developers to start implementing water recycling technology into new commercial development.
Austin, Texas, for example, offers developers incentives if they install reuse systems in new developments. This is a push to help meet future water demand, as the number of customers needing water in Austin is expected to quadruple in 100 years. In places like Austin, it is very likely that water reuse systems will become mandatory as demand continues to grow.
All of these improvements in water reuse technology come at a time when they are sorely needed. As commercial developers start to integrate black-water systems into new (and even existing) developments, they will start to see tremendous savings in both water and energy use. And given the instability of the water supply, it’s imperative that we continue to make strides towards being more efficient and resourceful with our water use.
About Aqua Bio Technologies, LLC
Founded in 2010, Darien, Illinois-based Aqua Bio Technologies is a leading provider of innovative biologic restoration, water reclaim, rain harvest, odor control and reverse osmosis (RO) systems. None of its solutions use ozone, UV, or chemicals of any kind to control odor – only nature. As the manufacturer of the first vehicle wash industry closed-loop water treatment system, the company is able to deliver a substantial savings in time and money to its customers with dramatic reductions is water and sewer costs.
For more information about Aqua Bio and how our systems are designed to save you and your car wash a ton of money by reusing 100% of the water collected contact us today.