Wastewater recycling is feature of new SFPUC 'green' office building

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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will integrate Worrell Water's Living Machine system into the lobby and outside landscaping of its new office building, taking all grey and black water from the building and treating the water - on-site - through advanced ecological engineering. (Photo: KMD Architects)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, Feb. 15, 2011 -- Worrell Water Technologies, a leader in ecological wastewater re-use technology and innovation, today announced that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) selected its Living Machine® system for on-site wastewater treatment and water reuse in its new office building located in the heart of San Francisco.

Designed with cutting edge, green building technology, the new San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's administration offices will be a 13-story, 277,500 square foot building that generates its own energy through integrated solar panels and wind turbines, and treats and recycles all wastewater for re-use with an on-site Living Machine® system.

"The new San Francisco Public Utilities Commission office building shows how we can begin to transition to decentralizing energy and water systems, even in a dense urban area, to create buildings, communities, and regions that are resilient, sustainable, and able to produce and re-use valuable resources on-site," said Will Kirksey, senior vice president at Worrell Water Technologies.

The Living Machine® system will be integrated into the lobby and outside landscaping, taking all grey and black water from the building and treating the water through advanced ecological engineering. The system is composed of enhanced wetland processes treating up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The wetlands require only about 1,000 square feet and that area provides green space, supporting a host of lush plantings. Wastewater will flow below the wetland surface in watertight cells so there is no smell, mosquito habitat, or health hazards.

The treated water will be re-used for toilet flushing. The SFPUC projects that the Living Machine® system will allow the building to save approximately 750,000 gallons of water per year, with an additional 900,000 gallons available for nonpotable future uses.

"As part of our commitment to be a national leader in sustainable design, we needed to select a water solution that would allow us to drastically minimize our water needs and incorporate ecological engineering and technology for water re-use," said SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington. "The Living Machine® system provides the innovative technology needed to locally recycle water in a sustainable, ecological and energy efficient way."

How does the Living Machine® system work?
The Living Machine® system adapts and enhances the ecological processes in a tidal wetland, Nature's most productive ecosystem. A computer controls fill and drain cycles, alternating anoxic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) conditions. This tidal cycling helps make the Living Machine® technology the most advanced ecological treatment system available. The Living Machine® system treats high-strength (blackwater) sewage within a small footprint and in an energy efficient, safe, attractive and cost-effective manner.

The Living Machine® system introduces high strength wastewater (blackwater) to a diverse microbial ecosystem, or biofilm, growing on the surface of a special gravel medium contained in a series of watertight basins. The basins fill with water allowing the microorganisms to begin consuming the nutrients. After a specific time interval, the basins are drained by gravity and pumps, and atmospheric oxygen passively infuses the medium. Oxygen is required to rapidly consume and convert remaining nutrients. Through this accelerated tidal flow process, the Living Machine® system adapts and enhances Nature's own productivity.

The water produced by a Living Machine® system is high-quality, clear water capable of being reused for a variety of functions including irrigation, toilet flushing, cooling towers, industrial processes, washing equipment or animal areas, filling landscape water features (i.e. fish ponds and fountains) and other such uses. For more information, go to www.livingmachines.com.

About Worrell Water Technologies
Worrell Water Technologies provides ecological wastewater treatment and water purification technologies. The company has an active research and development department, which has dedicated years to creating new means to recycle, purify and replenish our most essential natural resource -- water. Worrell Water's flagship products include the Living Machine® system, a proven ecological wastewater treatment system, and HydroSecure®, a water purification system developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, and Secret Service, that provides the ultimate level of control, safety and security for households and commercial buildings. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, Worrell Water has a portfolio of proprietary intellectual property and a diverse professional, engineering and research staff. For additional information and photos of the company's products, visit www.worrellwater.com. Or join us on Facebook.

About San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
The SFPUC is a department of the City and County of San Francisco that provides retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco, wholesale water to three Bay Area counties, and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco's municipal departments. 2.5 million Bay Area residents and businesses receive their pristine tap water from the SFPUC's Hetch Hetchy Regional Water system. For additional information about the SFPUC, visit sfwater.org.

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