Water conservation focus of new center at Plant Bowen
by Amanda Stegall
Apr 21, 2011 | 2366 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials with Georgia Power announced Wednesday that research will continue for water conservation efforts at Plant Bowen.

According to a press release, development and testing of new technologies to enhance water efficiency will be provided by the Water Research Center as a venue is set in place to address withdrawal, consumption and recycling throughout the power generation process.

Also collaborating in the effort for technology development, the Electric Power Research Institute will offer guidance throughout the project. The EPRI's purpose is to conduct research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public.

"Plant Bowen is one of our larger plants," Georgia Power Spokesperson Jeff Wilson said. "We've had a pilot project going for quite some time to study water use there, so it was just a good fit.

"When you look at water use in general, and you look at the drought a few years ago around the southeast, that put a lot of attention on water use and conservation. This is vital for the continued prosperity of Georgia, and we want to contribute to that effort. "

The announcement follows as an extension to the pilot study, which was created to address water withdrawal, consumption and recycling and identify means of better reducing water use.

Residents and customers will not notice any changes either in their bill or when passing the plant. "Funds come from our normal operating budget," Wilson said.

As ideas are formulated, Wilson stated that "vendors will bring technologies into Plant Bowen and test them there. Most of the infrastructure is already in place" and a new building to house the project will not be constructed. The release from the company states that up to $6 million in funding will be provided for any construction, commissioning, design and initial operations of the facility.

This project could "potentially benefit utilities around the world," Wilson said. The intent, though based in Georgia, is to improve water use internationally.

The WRC will direct the focus on the study in seven areas: moisture recovery, cooling tower and advanced cooling systems, zero liquid discharge options, low volume wastewater treatment, solid waste landfill water management, carbon technology water issues, and water modeling, monitoring and best management practices. Operated by the Southern Research Institute, the center is expected to be fully operational by August 2012 and serve an educational and awareness purpose in expressing the importance of water conservation.