Water Conservation for South Florida
With a noted lack of rainfall in south Florida this year comes the beginnings of water conservation notices. The opulently landscaped terraces of Miami condos require constant watering and an efficient, inexpensive means for providing this water demand is available. Each of these multi-story towers has several large industrial air conditioners scattered throughout the building. Constantly dripping from these is condensate water that forms while the unit is in operation. This clean water is piped to drains that usually run to the storm sewer run-off.
Homeowners often use this drip from their home AC units to water their yards by collecting condensate in a small tank then pumping it through their irrigation systems. This same process should be incorporated into large scale recovery systems in Miami condos.
Dealing with continual drought has been a way of life in south Texas for as long as I can remember. We've been saving home AC condensate for years. Major metro areas now require water conservation be encorporated into the design of new construction.
The city of San Antonio ordinances read:
" Newly constructed commercial buildings installing air conditioning systemson and after January 1, 2006 shall have a single and independent wastewater line to collect condensate wastewater to provide for future utilization as 1)process water and cooling tower make-up and/or 2) landscape irrigation water. Condensate wastewater shall not be allowed to drain into a storm sewer, roof drain overflow piping system, public way or impervious surface. "
A mall in San Antonio reports collecting 500 gallons an hour from AC condensate. The Shell Development research center in Houston claims 60,000 gallons of irrigation water a day generated by condensate.
The large number of high-rise buildings in the Miami-Dade area hold an un-tapped resourse that can significantly ease water conservation issues without limiting the gorgeous landscapping of the area.