A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Greywater Cooling the Cloud

Data Centers have discovered Oregon's wide open spaces, cheap power, cool summer nights, and no sales tax. The Oregonian reports that Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google have built or are building large data centers in eastern Oregon, much to the delight of some areas desiring new growth and jobs. Many of these data centers are apparently located along the Columbia River corridor to take advantage of the excess hydropower left over from the days of aluminum plants long gone. And some see the advantage of simply opening the doors to the data centers during the cool evenings to cool the servers. But leave it to Google to take graymatter to make more green and be green, too.

Yes, Google is going to cool a Georgia data center with greywater. Online news The Register (Biting the hand that feeds IT - funny!) reports that ... With the cooperation of the WSA, Google tapped into that utility's water-treatment plant to suck away around 30 per cent of greywater that would otherwise be dumped into the nearby Chattahoochee River...

The system allows Google to use recycled water for a full 100 per cent of its plant-cooling needs, and the water that ends up in The Hootch is cleaner than it would have been if it had never been taken from the WSA's treatment stream, Google says. Here is a video of Google describing the process.

Not only does the use of greywater help the WSA and the river, it makes smart business sense for Google as well, seeing as how it doesn't need to compete for fresh, drinkable water with other businesses and residents during drought periods – there should always be enough grey water available.

Oregon's greywater rules and regulations are already out-of-date given this news and the emphasis on a strict outdoors use, and the greywater permit machine is not even up and running yet. Careful examination of the comments section of The Oregonian article indicate that some folks think western Oregon is missing out on one heck of an opportunity. This is an area of Oregon where the bulk of the greywater generation and potential reuse as cooling water could occur. This approach might even help address the Total Maximum Daily Load of temperature in Oregon's treasure - The Willamette River - as addressed in this posting.
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Google is a global Rorschach test. 
We see in it what we want to see. 
Google has built an infrastructure that makes a lot of dreams 
closer to reality.
~Entrepreneur, author and journalist John Battelle

1 comment:

  1. Hello Dude,

    Greywater recycling systems capture and reuse water for secondary use before it is flushed down the drain, costing you money. The simplest forms of greywater recycling capture water from showers, bathtubs and washing machines and save that water for resuse, often for flushing toilets which do not require ‘fresh’ water. Thanks a lot!