Water Efficiency in Water Reclamation Operations: Clayton County Water Authority Practices What It Preaches

It is essential for water and wastewater utilities to serve as examples of responsible water users as they encourage their communities to conserve water. Clayton County Water Authority recognized the importance of practicing what it preached, and decided to look at its own operations for water efficiency opportunities. Many years ago, Clayton County started metering water use at water reclamation (wastewater treatment) facilities. The county was amazed that a small wastewater treatment plant was using more water than the local paint factory!

Clayton County Water Authority performed a water audit at all of its water reclamation facilities, and identified opportunities for water efficiency. Water audits revealed that a large volume of potable water was used for nonpotable applications. Following are a few examples of water efficiency measures implemented at the facilities, most of which involve substituting reclaimed water for potable water.

  • Saved 1,200,000 gallons/month at the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) by converting chlorinators to reuse water.
  • Saved 650,000 gallons/month at the Northeast WRF by using reuse water for polymer mix and sludge press belt wash.
  • Saved 90,000 gallons/month at the Casey WRF by changing water seal pumps to mechanical seal pumps.
  • Saved 17,000,000 gallons/month at biosolids pelletizing plant by using reclaimed water for scrubber/dust removal system and sludge press belt wash.

The Clayton County Water Authority has long been recognized as a leader in the water industry for its environmentally sound approach to water and wastewater services. In addition to water conservation, Clayton County’s pollution prevention programs include beneficial reuse of treated wastewater for forest irrigation, and the conversion of wastewater biosolids to marketable compost and fertilizer products.