LOS ANGELES (September 25, 2020)– The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) recently announced Google LLC as the 2020 Recycled Water Customer of Year for their ground-breaking use of recycled water at their Google Spruce Goose facility in Playa Vista. The historic airplane hangar that was once used to construct Howard Hughes’s H-4 Hercules Spruce Goose aircraft was converted into an office facility that now houses several design and development projects for Google. It is the only privately-owned facility in Los Angeles to pioneer the use of recycled water for its cooling towers, saving 7.4 acre-feet of drinking water (over 2.4 million gallons) in 2019 alone, which is enough to cover a football field with 7.4 feet of water.
“This award is testament to Google’s commitment to water stewardship, sustainability, innovation and positively reflects the efforts of our employees and stakeholders to get the project completed,” said Richard Navarro, Sustainability Manager for Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services team. “Sustainability and the efficient use of our natural resources makes both environmental and business sense and we at Google hope to continue through continued partnerships and engagement.
The Recycled Water Customer Award is a unique recognition of LADWP commercial customers and their achievements in water conservation and sustainability. The goal of the award is to increase awareness of water recycling best-practices and the many benefits they can provide to organizational operations, finances, and the overall environment we all share. This is just the beginning for Google as they intend to further increase their recycled water capability four-fold. By the end of this year Google plans to recycle approximately 22 acre-feet of water, equivalent to a football field under 22 feet of water!
“LADWP takes great pride in recognizing Google for their foresight and innovation in water recycling, sustainability and environmental leadership,” said Richard Harasick, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Water System. “As a large and recognizable company, their efforts have an outsize impact on LADWP resources and we hope that their commitment to water recycling and energy efficiency will inspire others. We look forward to a continued partnership of environmental stewardship and conservation with Google.”
The Google Spruce Goose facility began using recycled water in 2018. It receives highly treated wastewater from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant and the West Basin’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility via two separate “purple pipes”—or pipes that convey recycled water. One is used for water irrigation and the second is used for the cooling towers of the facility’s heating and cooling system. Google began the project using 25 percent recycled water and 75 percent drinking water, via an automated system. Pleased by the results, they have since upgraded to using 100 percent recycled water for the cooling tower.
The City of Angeles aims to recycle 100 percent of the City’s wastewater by 2035 and source 70 percent of water locally. As Los Angeles moves to a more sustainable future, LADWP will continue developing utility-scale recycled water projects while assisting customers to identify projects to save them money and further conserve water resources.