Sustainability Action Agenda: Purple Pipes System Expanded to UT

Aug 19, 2013 - 11:55 am

The Burnt Orange faithful welcomed purple pipes to campus in March, when Austin Water’s reclaimed water distribution system (which uses distinctive purple pipes) was successfully expanded to The University of Texas at Austin.  Austin Water and UT collaborated on connections that enhance community sustainability by linking a university chilling station to Austin Water’s reclaimed water system.

“This is a great accomplishment for the City of Austin.” said Greg Meszaros, director of Austin Water.  “Image of Purple Pipes continues to break new ground throughout the city providing real world water conservation options to organizations like UT Austin.”

Austin Water’s Reclaimed Water Program is setting new standards in conservation by building a comprehensive program that today uses 1.52 billion gallons per year of reclaimed water.  That’s about the same amount of water used by 5,300 Austin homes in a year.  Future plans call for more than tripling that amount to 8.5 billion gallons annually which will in turn free up potable water supplies to serve the equivalent of more than 25,000 homes.

Other reclaimed water projects include the Montopolis main (under construction), the BAE systems main (recently completed), the Smith Road Extension (to start construction this fall), and the Capitol Complex main, which will extend from the UT main into downtown (currently in design).

Reclaimed water is created by reusing highly treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants that is normally discharged into the Colorado River.  Austin Water uses reclaimed water for non-drinking purposes, such as irrigation, cooling and manufacturing.

Find out more about the sustainability initiatives being tracked as part of the Sustainability Action Agenda and decide how you will take action to secure a bright, green future for Austin.