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Covanta Niagara

stormwater runoff collected in a manhole is pumped to a 20,000 gallon open, temporary storage tank, and is then reused as cooling water blow down
Stormwater collected from this area is reused as cooling
water blow down

Intern Elana Lewis is a senior at Alfred University, majoring in materials science engineering. Covanta Niagara is a waste to energy facility located in an industrial setting of Niagara Falls. The facility requested an intern to work on a project to use stormwater in place of river water in the cooling tower. The cooling tower uses 300 to 500 gpm of river water, so this project could result in significant reduction of river water withdrawals, as well as decreasing the amount of industrial runoff to the river. Stormwater was captured in the collection system by plugging outlet pipes in a manhole, pumping the stormwater to a large tank, and allowing the water to flow by gravity to the cooling tower. Infiltrated groundwater was also incidentally captured. Ms. Lewis sized the pump based upon the amount of runoff expected, analyzed water quality samples, and worked to overcome employee resistance to the project. The catchment area was increased during the internship, and the intern recommended that based upon the success of the project, the pilot set up become permanent. Ms. Lewis calculated that at an average monthly rainfall of 3 inches, approximately 2.8 MG of stormwater could be used in the cooling tower annually in place of river water.

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