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By Gail Riese
The Auburn University Facilities Management Utilities and Energy Department has received the Return on Environment Award from General Electric’s (GE) Water & Process Technologies division. The award recognizes customers for significantly surpassing environmental and industrial operational goals, while meeting industrial demands.
Auburn University was recognized for its implementation of a water and energy conservation project designed to enhance cooling tower operations. The project was identified by GE Area Manager Allen Blythe and was managed by John McGuckin, Auburn University’s Superintendent of Plant Operations for Utilities and Energy.
Cooling tower operations require periodic flushing of used water and the addition of new water. The project implemented a more effective chemical treatment which allowed for greater re-use of cooling tower water. This reduced the need for flushing used water and adding new water.
Implemented in late 2011, the project has saved the University more than two million gallons of water which would have been added from the City of Auburn water supply and more than fourteen million gallons of water that would have been sent to sewers. The project has resulted in overall annual cost savings of more than $71,777.