This analysis examines a university and its specific wastewater needs as well as reuse opportunities.
With more than 8,000 students and 2,000 faculty/staff members on campus, a leading private university in the United States discharges approximately 181 million gallons of wastewater each year, and uses 71 million gallons of potable water a year to feed its cogeneration system.
Collected across the campus, a sanitary sewer collection system carries wastewater from office buildings, dormitories, dining halls, and other support facilities to the local wastewater treatment facility.
Currently, the university pays a local utility to both treat its wastewater and supply potable water. Faced with water costs increasing at an average rate of 7% annually, the university is seeking a viable water reclamation solution that can complement its approach to “systems management” (central administration of systems such as heating, cooling, energy and landscape management).
Further, as a leader in the community the university has a very strong commitment to sustainability, with specific goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and waste production over the next 10 years.
Due to increasing sewage connection fees, several on-site wastewater treatment alternatives were considered by the university to treat 71 million gallons/year of wastewater – equivalent to the university’s potable water demand.
As a challenge, the only site available with easy access to wastewater for this potential facility lay on a plot less than 4,000 ft2 in the middle of campus. Additionally, the university sought to maintain and operate the facility with less than one full-time-equivalent staff.
With that in mind, conventional treatment solutions were assessed but deemed unsuitable given two common challenges:
These combined factors eliminated conventional solutions from consideration as they are difficult to integrate into the campus environment.
In contrast, an Organica-powered facility offering on-site wastewater treatment and recycling fits comfortably onto the site available on-campus and easily integrates into the feel of the university’s campus and image.
In contrast to conventional solutions, an Organica facility offers on-site wastewater treatment, with numerous benefits:
Replacing potable water with reclaimed wastewater provides an opportunity to reduce both potable water supply and wastewater discharge costs. Additionally, it would reduce the university’s dependence and burden on the local wastewater utility, freeing up valuable treatment capacity in the area.
Given the university’s current and projected rates for wastewater discharge and potable water supply, an Organica facility of this capacity would cost approximately $4 million, with a payback period of 3 years and an IRR of 48% over a 20-year lifecycle.
Organica’s physical footprint to treat and reclaim wastewater (approximately 3,200 ft2) is well within the available area on-campus. Since Organica facilities have no odour and are aesthetically-pleasing, the buffer zone typically required is significantly reduced, allowing the facility to be seamlessly integrated into the campus environment.
Organica solutions are uniquely sophisticated and have a highly automated control system. As a result, the proposed Organica facility allows for less than one full-time-equivalent staff and an annual OPEX of approximately $90,000; dramatically less than the current annual fees in excess of $1 million paid to the utility.
Organica Water offers sustainable wastewater treatment solutions with proven, reliable, energy-efficient processes, housed-inside an odorless, aesthetically-pleasing enclosure. Organica facilities look like a botanical garden, while efficiently treating wastewater on-site. The visual appeal of the facility preserves “green space”, enriching the student and neighbouring community, and solidifying the university’s position as a sustainable institution.
Assumptions: Wastewater Discharge and Water Supply costs are assumed to increase at a 7% rate per annum. Quantity of wastewater discharged and corresponding water reused is assumed to increase by 1% per annum. Organica OPEX is assumed to increase at an annual rate of 3%.
Disclaimer: Financial estimates used are based on a proposal for a greenfield project in New Jersey, USA. Images are sample displays. This case study is created for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a quote or offer of any kind. Financial data, OPEX, CAPEX, actual footprint, components (including but not limited to water reuse functionality), etc. may vary per project depending on the actual requirements.
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