Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Long Term Water Quality in a Commercial Office Building

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sondra M. Miller


Reuse of urban wastewater has been recognized as a means to potentially alleviate water shortage problems. Despite the high potential for the reclamation of urban wastewater, few countries have implemented processes to utilize this resource. The Banner Bank Building in downtown Boise, Idaho is an eleven-story commercial office building which has been awarded platinum status by the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. A key reason for this recognition is the innovative implementation of an on-site water reuse system, which treats storm water and grey water for reuse in lavatories in lieu of potable drinking water. This water reuse system has aided in reducing the building’s consumption of treated potable water by 60% to 80% compared to office buildings of similar size and use. We have been granted access to the reuse system, its plans and schematics, system design, and points-of-use for the purpose of sampling and analyzing water quality within the reuse system. The goal was to evaluate water quality of the reuse system in comparison to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) primary and secondary drinking water standards. For example, turbidity met primary drinking standards in 88.6% of the samples analyzed. Here, we discuss the results of our nine month sampling and recommend possible system upgrades to provide further utility of urban wastewater reuse.