Air Products’ facility in California has installed a new water treatment system using recycled water instead of drinking water during industrial cooling.
The conversion at Santa Clara conserves nearly 62 million gallons of drinking water annually and significantly reduces Air Products’ water costs. Luke Charpentier, Air Products’ Santa Clara Site Manager, commented, “Air Products strives to find sustainable solutions for its day-to-day operations, and one way to meet that goal is to reduce water consumption.”
“With our new recycled water treatment system, we are reducing our water costs while conserving valuable drinking water for our community.”
The South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR) unit consists of more than 100 miles of pipe delivering 15 million gallons of recycled water per day from the San Jose / Santa Clara Water Pollution Plant in Alviso. The facility serves in excess of 550 customers, with one of the largest being Air Products.
The change was enabled through funding from the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in California. The project expense reached $750,000, a third of which was spent on constructing and installation of a pipeline to the facility. In addition, Air Products invested funds to connect to the new line, improve water chemistry controls and upgrade the systems for recycled water.
Donald R. Glaser, Director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region, remarked, “The use of recycled water is playing a significant and growing role as part of the solution to water issues in the western United States. Projects like this demonstrate the importance of corporate leadership and public-private partnerships in developing supplemental water supplies.”
Glaser continued, “They also show that President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds are helping the economy of local communities and demonstrating the overall commitment to infrastructure to make efficient use of the limited water resource.”
Such advances are expected to increase as drinking water supplies tighten across the Californian state. The Santa Clara Valley Water District has specified that, in order to meet forecasted drinking water demands in 2020, 10% of the County’s total water supply must come from recycled sources.
Mayor of the City of Santa Clara, Patricia M Mahan, supported the initiative, saying, “We are pleased to have Air Products on board as one of our largest customers on the system. Together we are demonstrating our commitment to match appropriate water sources to suitable uses.”
Mahan specified, “Water recycling reduces the amount of fresh water that is discharged from the San Jose / Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant into the delicate salt marshes of the South San Francisco Bay. This helps to protect the environment and ensure a sustainable water supply for the future.”
Air Products’ Santa Clara facility operates an air separation plant producing oxygen, nitrogen and argon for industrial applications. The site which was established in 1973, also serves as a distribution centre for electronic speciality gases and helium.