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Green Solutions

Through our years of experience, we’ve learned that one solution does not fit all. Across the country, we work with cities and communities of all sizes to help them solve their unique water and wastewater needs and challenges. Our expertise and knowledge of the industry allows us to consolidate the efforts that go into building a new, or updating an older facility.

Our expertise with innovative solutions and technologies has allowed us to develop a number of projects that focus on providing sustainable, long-term environmentally sound water and wastewater systems, as well as programs that promote beneficial reuse.

Solar Power
One great example of a green solution is the way New Jersey American Water is utilizing solar panels to power one of their largest plants in the state.

In 2005, New Jersey American Water installed the state's largest ground mounted solar electric system at its Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, NJ, as part of the company's energy savings initiatives.

The system, which can produce up to 585,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year, will supplement 15 percent of the peak usage power needed to run the plant. The project also translates into environmental benefits. Reducing energy usage by 585,000 kilowatt-hours a year prevents 1,577 pounds of nitrogen oxide, 4,875 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 699,856 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the air. According to the EPA and US Climate Technology Cooperation, this savings in carbon dioxide pollution is equivalent to planting 94 acres of tree seedlings or preserving 2.6 acres of land from deforestation.

Pollution Prevention
Illinois American Water has teamed with the Great Rivers Land Trust to reduce the sediment that enters the Mississippi River from its water treatment plant in Alton. The partnership launched in 2000 as an alternative to building sediment lagoons, which would have created a negative environmental impact by increasing truck traffic and generating silt that would occupy space in local landfills.

By employing silt basins and dry dams, stabilizing streambanks and acquiring land, the 10-year plan has reduced sediment discharged into the river by 50 percent. In addition to mitigating thousands of tons of sediment, the plan has also yielded construction and operating cost savings.

For its efforts, Illinois American Water and Great Rivers Land Trust won a 2002 Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Recycling
Pennsylvania America Water has developed alternative methods for recycling the sediment and suspended matter recovered as residual waste during water purification. Instead of sending this waste to landfills or discharging it to wastewater treatment facilities, Pennsylvania American Water has found uses for it at various sites across the state.

Dewatered residual waste from 10 facilities is used as topsoil and topsoil blend for earthwork, pipeline construction restoration, landscaping and tree nursery applications. In addition, liquid slurry material from 20 plants is used to improve agricultural lands. Pennsylvania American Water also has partnered with local conservancy groups to provide waste material for use in community and school gardening projects.

By finding environmentally sound uses for residual waste, Pennsylvania American Water has generated operational cost savings by avoiding landfill use. For its efforts, Pennsylvania American Water won the 2000 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and the 2001 Allegheny County Enviro Star Award.

Energy
You knew drinking tap water costs less than drinking bottled water, now there's a new study that shows it saves energy, too. Drinking tap water rather than bottled water will help save more energy and costs less.

A study conducted by the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development Environment and Security in Oakland, California found bottled water consumes as much as 2,000 times more energy than tap water. The study also found the total bottled water consumption in the U.S. consumed 32 to 54 million barrels of oil in 2007.

Americans purchased more than 33 billion liters of bottled water and worldwide more than 200 billion liters of bottled water was sold.

Since 2001, bottled water sales have increased by 70 percent. Bottled water is purchased more by consumers than milk or beer. The increased consumption of bottled water has increased the consumption of energy.

Start saving energy and spend less by drinking tap water.

 

Additional Resources

White Papers
Challenges In The Water Industry: Climate Change

Challenges In The Water Industry: The Tap Versus Bottled Water Debate

Innovations In The Water Industry: Going Green

Innovations In The Water Industry: Water Reuse