Uninterrupted service is at the heart of successful data center operations. To operate reliably data centers require a stable temperature. Central to ensuring a stable temperature is a reliable supply of high-quality water for the cooling system.
In the upper Northwest of the U.S., we are helping ensure seamless data center service by providing water of sufficient quality and quantity to cool more than 60 megawatts of major data center companies’ server farms.
On one level the project is about sustainability and resource efficiency. The water cooling the servers will be effluent treated to the highest standards: a waste stream is turned into a valuable resource which, in turn, relieves demand upon the area’s surface and groundwater resources. In addition, the project will bring to an end discharges from the City’s existing industrial wastewater treatment plant into local water bodies.
We are supporting our data center clients, and the local environment, through the design, procurement and construction of a new 1.4 million gallons per day (MGD) industrial reuse water treatment plant (IRWTP). The new IRWTP takes the secondary effluent stream from the City’s existing industrial wastewater treatment plant, passes it through a complex train of treatment processes, making it suitable for reuse in data center cooling systems.
The treatment steps to guarantee safe water reuse include lime clarification, ultrafiltration (UF), high efficiency softeners, reverse osmosis (RO), blending, distribution stations and storage. One of the remarkable aspects of the project was the speed with which this complex system went from design concept, through to construction and integration with the city’s live existing industrial wastewater treatment plant. It took just 14 months.
A phased construction approach was implemented to assist with meeting state-mandated requirements. Black & Veatch was responsible for the design, construction, safety, and start-up of the facilities. The long lead item – the lime system – was completed to all contractual deadlines. Collaboration was central to the project’s success. This started close to home with Black & Veatch’s water and data center teams working closely together to bring the project to award, and then successful delivery.
As the win became a live project, the fast-track schedule could only be achieved by working closely with the City, client and other stakeholders. In particular this ensured no disruption during the integration of the new reuse facility into the City’s existing, live industrial wastewater treatment plant. With the City’s construction capacity stretched, a further component of successful on-time delivery was Black & Veatch’s ability to draw upon its contracting network to pull in subcontractors from outside the region.
To summarize, Black & Veatch’s responsibilities included: project management, pre-construction activities, development of the long-lead equipment package, construction schedule, GMP, and planning for the integration and commissioning of the reuse facility, and overall design and construction.