Feb 20, 2008

Raleigh Businesses Tap Into Alternate Water Source

Treated wastewater being rerouted for consumer purposes

Some businesses on the Raleigh, N.C. water system have found an alternative way to get water even as restrictions tighten in the face of the drought there. They are tapping into the city's wastewater treatment plant, according to an article by www.wral.com.

Raleigh’s water demand has dropped by about 1 million gal per day (gpd) since Stage 2 water restrictions went into effect Feb. 15.

The tougher rules ban outdoor watering and pressure washing and closed car washes not using city-certified water recycling systems.

On the other end of the system, however, the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant processes about 36 million gpd.

"From your showers, from your sinks, from your toilets," Tim Woody, reuse superintendent with Raleigh Public Utilities Department, said as he explained the source of wastewater.

After going through three stages of treatment, the water flows into the Neuse River. Lately, more and more of the treated wastewater is being reused for consumer purposes.

Businesses like Clean Streets in Angier, N.C., are filling up tanker trucks with treated wastewater in order to stay afloat during the drought, the website reported.

"We are thanking God for it right now, because without it, we wouldn't have anything to do," said Gary Adcock of Clean Streets, one of 150 businesses that the city has certified to use the treated wastewater.

While the water is free, the owner said hauling water from the plant is costly and time-consuming. With the valuable resource dwindling, however, the city says business-owners must get resourceful.

"It preserves our resources. It preserves our drinking water," Woody said.
Anyone can get treated wastewater, as long as they are city-certified and have an inspected tank.

Officials said they have 150 people scheduled for the free certification training this week, the website reported.