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Hartsfield-Jackson’s water conservation efforts paying off
By A.B. Snedeker

To celebrate Earth Day 2010, Hartsfield-Jackson on April 22 announced a dramatic year-over-year reduction in water use at the world’s busiest airport.

Because of recent sustainability measures, the Airport used 86.7 million fewer gallons of water in 2009-10 than in 2007-08 — enough water to fill about 130 Olympic-size swimming pools or more than 10 Georgia Aquariums.

“The Airport and the City of Atlanta are committed to being good stewards of the environment,” said Tom Nissalke, Airport director of environmental and technical services. “Water conservation is one of the many ways we seek to enhance the sustainability of the Airport for the community.”

From April 2007 to March 2008, the Airport used 324.9 million gallons of water. The following year, water usage dropped by nearly 8 percent. Water consumption dropped by a further 61.2 million gallons — 20.4 percent — between April 2009 and March 2010.

The conversion to low-flow restroom fixtures throughout the Airport is one reason for the savings, said Rod Ozust, deputy executive director of the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corp. (AATC).

“Additionally, switching from water-cooled to air-cooled compressors to drive the pneumatic controls of the terminal HVAC system adds significantly to overall water savings,” he said.

More savings are expected in the next year because of a new program to collect and reuse naturally occurring groundwater found beneath the terminal and Concourse E. That water will replenish water that evaporates from the cooling towers in the Airport’s mechanical plants.

“We expect to harvest nearly 15.5 million gallons of groundwater annually,” Ozust said.

The AATC is a nonprofit organization established by the airlines to maintain Hartsfield-Jackson’s passenger terminal.

© 2010 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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