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Austin Energy, of Austin, Texas, will attempt to save millions of gallons of water, in addition to millions of dollars, by using the city’s treated sewage water at its Sand Hill Energy Center power plant.
The electric utility is city-owned and told Austin Business Journal that this is the first commercial application of the city’s treated wastewater. Previously, the wastewater was pumped back into the Colorado river.
After switching from drinkable to treated wastewater, the plant should have up to 50 million gallons of extra water per month. Austin Energy spokesman Carlos Cordova told the Austin Business Journal that this would be enough drinking water for 6,250 average size homes in Austin, and would save the homeowners $150,000.
Sand Hill’s bill will now be cut from $2 million per year to $500,000 with the new method of using reclaimed water.
Austin Energy partnered with Austin’s water department to invest $7.5 million in capital improvements at the treatment facility in order to supply Sand Hill and others with reclaimed water.