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New water tower aims to conserve drinking water

New water tower aims to conserve drinking water
November 11,2010 – Austin
By: Ashley Porter, NEWS 8

Austin Water and the City of Austin unveiled the area’s first water tower that will only hold recycled water.

The tower, standing at 170 feet tall, is designed to help Austin conserve drinking water at a time when the U.S. Drought Monitor considers Central Texas unusually dry.

The tower holds two million gallons of reclaimed water, which is not as treated as drinking water. It’s a less expensive alternative to using drinking water for things like watering the lawn.

“Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater. We’ve taken out all the material and it’s useful for irrigation and cooling towers,” Jill Mayfield with Austin Water said. “Most golf courses are using reclaimed water. Also, cooling tower water for huge cooling systems or air conditioning systems can use this water.”

This is the first of seven towers Austin Water hopes to build using revenue from reclaimed water sales. The structure stands tall so gravity can help water get where it needs to be without additional energy.

When it does need power, 48 solar panels assist in providing electricity. This tower has pipes connecting it to the University of Texas campus so the school can use the water as well…. SEE VIDEO .