01/24/2014

On-Site Wastewater Treatment: Turn Blackwater into a Green Opportunity

Reclaim sewage with a membrane bioreactor

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  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater8.jpg

    Worried about the aesthetics of treating sewage on your property? If you don’t have space within your building, there are many clever ways to disguise your plant as an outbuilding. These MBR projects are located on the perimeter of golf courses and state parks so they don’t attract the attention of visitors and guests.
    Photo Credit: TEC

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater7.jpg

    Worried about the aesthetics of treating sewage on your property? If you don’t have space within your building, there are many clever ways to disguise your plant as an outbuilding. These MBR projects are located on the perimeter of golf courses and state parks so they don’t attract the attention of visitors and guests.
    Photo Credit: TEC

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater10.jpg

    Worried about the aesthetics of treating sewage on your property? If you don’t have space within your building, there are many clever ways to disguise your plant as an outbuilding. These MBR projects are located on the perimeter of golf courses and state parks so they don’t attract the attention of visitors and guests.
    Photo Credit: TEC

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater9.jpg

    Worried about the aesthetics of treating sewage on your property? If you don’t have space within your building, there are many clever ways to disguise your plant as an outbuilding. These MBR projects are located on the perimeter of golf courses and state parks so they don’t attract the attention of visitors and guests.
    Photo Credit: TEC

Ready to turn your building into its own waste treatment facility?

Putting a Price on Water Independence

Don’t focus solely on how many gallons of water a membrane bioreactor can reclaim. There are a number of other operational expenses that are incurred when you independently treat water.

For example, a 2005 study in the journal Water Environment Research estimates that MBR operational costs are approximately $1.77 per 1,000 gallons treated.

To calculate if treating your own wastewater is less expensive than your current utility rates, gather these data points to understand the true cost of blackwater reclamation.

 

While greywater and rainwater harvesting are popular conservation strategies, blackwater remains a murky proposition for many properties. Until owners take the plunge, they can be hindered by concerns about odor, safety, performance, and occupant acceptance.

But don’t be fouled up by these misconceptions – you can save thousands, if not millions, of gallons of water by using a membrane bioreactor (MBR), an activated sludge system that treats wastewater. This tested technology will drastically reduce your utility and sewer costs while providing clean water that can be used virtually anywhere in your facility.

A Raw Deal
Building owners who adopt wastewater treatment are typically well on their way to water independence. Their facilities already use low-flow fixtures and irrigation controls and harvest rainwater and stormwater to reduce potable water demands. Blackwater recycling is simply the next step to closing the water loop.

While many areas of the country still enjoy inexpensive water, discharge rates and stormwater fees are driving up utility bills. Buildings pay for water twice – once for potable needs and again to discharge sewage – so there’s strong motivation to become part of the process. Even more so when you consider that very little water in your facility needs to be treated to drinkable standards.

“By taking on the cost of water treatment, you gain a level of control over your utility rates,” says Paul Schuler, engineered systems region executive for the Americas with GE Power & Water, a manufacturer of wastewater technology.

Reclaiming wastewater is also a powerful way to reduce your environmental impact and relieve pressure on your municipal infrastructure. Consider how far away your building is from your local treatment plant – every mile represents energy that’s required to pump water and sewage back and forth.

“One of the biggest advantages of water recycling is that it decentralizes the wastewater treatment process,” says Tracy Cort, operations manager for the firm Vision Engineering. “Water is harvested and reused where it’s needed the most: your building.”

Blackwater recovery can also help you earn green credibility. LEED, for example, offers up to six points for water reclamation and reduction strategies. Particularly if you are aiming for Gold or Platinum, water recycling is an important area to target. Blackwater treatment is also a necessary strategy for projects pursuing the Living Building Challenge, which requires net-zero water for certification.

Because wastewater recovery is such a clear signal of pushing the green envelope, it will make your property stand out from others in your market.

“The marketing message that a building reuses all its water can be a powerful differentiator when looking to increase occupancy,” says Josh Gleason, a business partner for Treatment Equipment Company (TEC), a supplier of water recycling systems.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


 
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