Bottles, cans, cardboard, and even plastic bags can be recycled on campus. And now, the campus has added water to the list of recyclable material.
“The water reclamation plant it supposed to take raw sewage through a filtration process to create drinkable water,” said Ken Riley, director of physical plant at MC.
“We went to the plant several months ago before we were certified,” Riley said. “The end product was poured in a glass, smelled fine, and looked crystal clear. I wouldn’t be against trying to drink it.”
The city’s multi-million-dollar plant is located in the Windlands Park, and water is pumped under Wadley Ave. to a large tank located on the northeast part of campus between the softball field and the maitenance building.
But don’t worry, the reclaimed water will not be used for drinking or cooking purposes. Some students may be wary of drinking sewage water, even though it had been strongly filtered.
“The reclaimed water will be used for irrigation only,” said Terry Kirkland, campus grounds supervisor,said. “It’ll save the college money due to it being a dollar per gallon cheaper, and we won’t be taking away drinking water. 1.3 million gallons will make one irrigation cycle. This is absolutely cheaper. Reclaimed water is $2.66 per thousand gallons, while city water is $4.95 to $8.75 per thousand gallons.”
Reclaimed water should also make the campus look much better, Kirkland said.The dying grass and plants are needing extra moisture due to the drought as MC workers cut back on the watering.
“We’ve been limiting our water usage the past two years due to the drought, just trying to keep the flower beds and trees alive,” Riley said. “We didn’t want to be wasteful.”
The campus uses 300 gallons a minute, and former attempts to dig a well were not up to par with the speed, according to Riley. This huge amount of water makes MC the largest single point water user in Midland. Before the reclamation plant was created, the campus had to use the city’s drinkable water.
“The city proposed the water reclamation plant to us so we could test it out,” Riley said. “By using reclaimed water, we will free up the city’s potable water supply.”
Kirkland also said the city’s drinking water that the campus would have used can now supply 100 additional homes. MC will save money, water, and maybe even help lower the effects of the drought on the many citizens of Midland.
“I’m glad we have this plant,” Kirkland said. “We’ve been working toward it for four years, and we are getting there.”