Those water droplets from your A/C could “quench the thirst of thousands”

  • Reports reveal that A/C condensate can be reused to cater to the water needs of thousands of people.
  • Microsoft’s office in Israel collects 3 million liters of condensate annually.
  • Some states in the U.S are giving cash incentives to buildings that can recycle their A/C condensate.

Building managers have discovered that accumulated water droplets from the underside of air conditioning units can potentially cater to the water needs of thousands of people.

Microsoft says that annually, they collect 3 million liters of condensate from their air conditioners in their 46,000 square meter offices in Herzliya, Israel. They use the collected water to cool the building and irrigate the campus flora. This amount of water can also supply at least two family homes’ indoor and outdoor water needs for the whole year. 

A campus building at Rice University, Houston produces 15 gallons of condensate per minutewhich can supply an entire campus with 12 million gallons annually.

Because of this potential, several eco-conscious offices and municipal governments around the United States are looking for ways to use the resource, which, for the longest time, has given wall buildings a dirty run-down appearance.

Controlling and predicting condensation is not the hardest challenge. The only major step required in the process is positioning a cistern or channel under the point where the droplets gather, as well as adding a water pump in cases where the water needs to be sent uphill.

Many A/C units are also equipped with rubber condensate disposal piping that drains the moisture into a specific spot. 

Incentives for recycling water

Photo credit: ElasticComputeFarm/Pixabay

The city council of Austin, Texas, where it’s usually parched, approved an incentive program that offers cash incentives to large building managers who can reuse their air-conditioning condensate, graywater, or rainwater for onsite non-potable needs, according to Good News Network. 

A Bloomberg report reveals that the water recycling methods of the 56-story Austonian residential skyscraper and the Austin Central Library save the city 362,800 gallons of water annually. 

A building that can save one million gallons of potable water can receive a $250,000 incentive, while a system that saves the city three million gallons is eligible to receive $500,000. 

Tucson, another hot and arid city, also has water-conserving systems in place. The Sonoran Landscape Laboratory in the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture uses 100% recycled water.

The Laboratory is located on what used to be 1.2 acres of parking lot and uses 95,000 gallons of collected condensate water to irrigate desert gardens and to fill a pond that supplies water to local wildlife. 

Besides HVAC condensate, features like roof runoff, drinking fountain graywater, and backwash from a sand filter can help save the place an estimated 230,000 gallons of potable water annually. 

If you want to save on water, too, you can look for online guides on how to build your recycling system, or how to harvest your A/C condensate. 

Source: Good News Network

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