The Central Heating Plant (CHP) currently uses the effluent from the Amherst Waste Water Treatment Plant (reclaimed water) as boiler make-up water to produce steam for the campus and for the CHP cooling towers. To increase water conservation, and to maximize the capability of the existing Reclaimed Water Treatment Facility (RWTF), the CHP has submitted a Class A Reclaimed Water Application to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to use reclaimed water at the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Complex cooling towers as well.
The Amherst campus currently requires about 340 million gallons of water per year and the RWTF can process approximately 200,000 gallons of reclaimed water per day. Boiler water make-up for steam production uses the full capacity of the RWTF during the heating season. The addition of the cooling towers at the Commonwealth Honors College will maximize the reclaimed water capacity during the cooling season. This would result in a potential reduction of potable water consumption of 73 million gallons of water per year (21 percent).