Champaign County Plant Earns LEED Certification

Illinois American Water’s new water treatment facility in Champaign County has been awarded LEED® Certified Level established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The water treatment plant is the only water treatment facility in Illinois to carry the LEED® Certified designation and one of only two in the nation, according to available information. The new facility was completed and put into service in December 2008.

By using less energy, LEED certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. The water treatment facility achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a various other sustainable strategies.

Some of these features include:

  • Water used in the treatment process is recycled, which means that 100 percent of the water coming from the aquifer is distributed to customers without waste.
  • The site is a zero discharge facility using pervious pavement, which absorb water that would otherwise go into the municipal storm and sanitary sewers.
  • The administration building is served by a geothermal heating and cooling system.
  • Special containment features were designed and built into the chemical loading areas to prevent possible contamination.
  • Native prairie plantings were put into the acreage surrounding the plant to attract and provide habitat for wildlife and eliminate the need for mowing, fertilizer and watering.

Barry Suits, district manager for the Champaign District said, “Receiving this designation is an honor. It made sense both economically and environmentally. This facility costs less to operate and maintain while reflecting our commitment to investing in facilities that will protect and preserve the environment for future generations. We know these are important factors for our community and our customers. Our goal is to be a good steward of our finances and an environmental example here in Champaign Urbana.”

Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

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