The WaterHub is an on-site water recycling system on the Emory campus that uses eco-engineering processes to clean wastewater for future nonpotable use. It is the first system of its kind to be installed in the United States. Emory’s WaterHub is capable of recycling up to 400,000 gallons per day—nearly 40% of the campus’ total water needs.
Wastewater cleaned by the WaterHub is used as process make-up water in Emory’s steam and chiller plants and for toilet flushing in select residence halls. The reduces Emory’s draw of water from Atlanta’s municipal water supply by up to 146 million gallons annually. The WaterHub includes a 50,000-gallon emergency water reserve that allows Emory’s heating and cooling systems to function for an average of seven hours in the event of any disruption in water availability, depending on seasonal operating demands.
The WaterHub was made possible by an innovative water purchase agreement between Emory University and Sustainable Water, a water reclamation technology provider. The WaterHub creates lower-cost water at a long-term stable rate and is expected to save millions of dollars in water utility costs to Emory over a 20-year period. The WaterHub aligns with the university's vision of a sustainable campus and reduces the overall water demand on one of the smallest municipal watersheds in the United States.