Champaign County water treatment plant awarded LEED certification

CHAMPAIGN, IL, Dec. 10, 2009 -- Illinois American Water's new water treatment facility in Champaign County has been awarded LEED Certification...

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• Becomes the only water treatment facility in Illinois to carry the LEED® Certified designation.

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Champaign District Manager Barry Suits and Superintendent Walter Voegel (with award) from Illinois American Water join (L-R) Cassie Carroll and Mara Eisenstein of the Illinois Green Business Association and Kathryn Foster from Illinois American Water to show off the new LEED Award for the Champaign County Water Treatment Facility.
CHAMPAIGN, IL, Dec. 10, 2009 -- Illinois American Water's new water treatment facility in Champaign County has been awarded LEED® Certified Level established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The water treatment plant is the only water treatment facility in Illinois to carry the LEED® Certified designation and one of only two in the nation according to available information.

The new water treatment facility was completed and put into service in December 2008. The public had the opportunity to see the plant at a grand opening event in June 2009.

By using less energy, LEED certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. The water treatment facility achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. Specifically, LEED certification of the facility was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the plant itself and the broader community. Some of these features include:

• In traditional facilities, some water used to facilitate the actual treatment process may be discarded, but here, even the water used in the treatment process is recycled, which means that 100 percent of the water coming from the aquifer is distributed to customers without waste.
• The site is a zero discharge facility which means that no water goes into the municipal storm and sanitary sewers.
• Pervious pavement was part of the plan to become a zero discharge facility. It absorbs rainfall and prevents excess runoff into storm sewers.
• The administration building is served by a geothermal heating and cooling system.
• Special containment features were designed and built into the chemical loading areas to prevent possible contamination.
• Native prairie plantings were put into the acreage surrounding the plant to attract and provide habitat for wildlife and eliminate the need for mowing, fertilizer and watering.

Barry Suits, District Manager for the Champaign District said, "Receiving this designation is an honor. It made sense both economically and environmentally. This facility costs less to operate and maintain while reflecting our commitment to investing in facilities that will protect and preserve the environment for future generations. We know these are important factors for our community and our customers. Our goal is to be a good steward of our finances and an environmental example here in Champaign Urbana."

"Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like Illinois American Water are addressing it through local solutions."

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. 35,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 5.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries.

USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.

About Illinois American Water
Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

About American Water
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

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