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U.S. EPA, Virginia DEQ, Loudoun Water Officials Mark Critical Stage in Beneficial, Green Infrastructure Projects

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Stimulus Funds to Help Completion of “Purple Pipe” Reclaimed Water Projects Aimed at Reducing Demand, Helping the Environment, Cutting Costs

Yesterday, September 29, 2010, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and Loudoun Water helped mark a critical stage in the completion of two landmark water reclamation projects that will reduce demand for drinking water, help the environment, and cut energy and water usage costs.  

Loudoun Water received nearly $1.7 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help it finish the installation of more than 13,000 feet of 16-inch and 12-inch water mains in an area just north of Dulles Airport.  Once in operation, these “purple pipes” will deliver Level 1 (highest quality) reclaimed water to customers for use in several commercial applications, including irrigation, the cooling of HVAC systems and the chilling of data centers.  Loudoun Water hopes to have 30% of its reclaimed water reused by 2015.

“We at Loudoun Water believe that every drop of water matters,” said Fred Jennings, Loudoun Water Board Chairman.  “These projects are the latest examples of our efforts to provide sustainable water services that protect the environment and ensure that our customers will have a safe, reliable and constant supply of drinking water for generations to come.”

The reclaimed water projects will benefit county residents in a number of ways.  First, they will provide and promote green, sustainable alternatives to using drinking water for non-drinking purposes and counts for the “water efficiency” credits or LEED certification.  Second, they will cut the amount of effluent discharged into Broad Run, which means fewer nutrients will return to the Chesapeake Bay.  Third, local businesses will pay less for using the reclaimed water versus drinking water, and finally, Loudoun Water will use less energy to deliver the reclaimed water to its customers versus drinking water.

“Water reclamation and reuse helps conserve potable water for the highest quality uses,” Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Chief Deputy Rick Weeks said. “It also can be a significant factor in supplementing a community’s overall water supply, reducing reliance on diminishing ground water supplies, and assisting with economic development.”

“By providing this resource, Loudoun Water gives our county another tool to attract more of the hi-tech businesses that will form the backbone of our economy throughout the 21st Century,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Lori Waters (Broad Run).  “It’s a true win-win for local businesses.  As a result of the effort, we have received several inquiries from companies looking to site themselves in our county about the benefits of using reclaimed water.”

"Under the Recovery Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has provided much needed funding to States and local communities helping them tackle environmental problems, create jobs, and initiate ‘green’ projects that will achieve environmental benefits for years to come," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "Here in Virginia, our agency provided more than $109 million in Recovery Act funding, and of that amount, $80 million went to the Department of Environmental Quality for clean water infrastructure projects."