“The Tangent [WaterCycle®] system is really important to us from a value standpoint. Our mission is in large part about providing clean water and clean air, because we believe that all things rely on … clean air and clean water.”
– Rich Cochran, President and CEO, Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Western Reserve Land Conservancy Headquarters, Moreland Hills, Ohio
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a non-profit land trust whose mission is to ‘preserve the scenic beauty, rural character, and natural resources of northern Ohio’. Accordingly, when it became necessary to expand their corporate headquarters in 2012 in the picturesque Chagrin River valley, the new construction employed the most current, innovative, and environmentally sustainable building practices with an emphasis upon locally sourced materials and expertise.
Several challenges associated with water supply and wastewater discharge needed to be overcome as part of the expansion project. First, the existing well had insufficient yield to meet peak demand and had poor water quality, and connection to the nearest public water system was cost-prohibitive. Second, a relatively large amount of land was required for septic system installation in the clay soils found at the site, yet space was limited due to regulatory buffer zones surrounding a creek and other property features. Closed-loop water recycling provided a solution to these challenges, and also aligned well with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s commitment to stewardship of water and other natural resources.
Tangent Company was contracted to design a custom WaterCycle® system for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy headquarters with a capacity of 2,000 gallons-per-day. The system was installed and commissioned in early 2013, with supervision by Tangent Company engineers. Lack of a regulatory framework for building-scale closed-loop water recycling in Ohio (and the United States in general) required that the WaterCycle® system be piloted prior to full implementation as a potable water source.
“It [the WaterCycle® system] is one of those innovative leaps in advancement of technology that allows for the treatment of water from non-traditional sources.”
– Keith McClintock, Vice President, Western Reserve Land Conservancy
The pilot study at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy headquarters began in April 2013 and consisted of several periods with unique operating conditions. It was managed by Tangent Company staff with oversight by the Ohio Department of Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and technical review by a panel of international water experts. The pilot study concluded in May 2016 with permission for ongoing operation. Tangent Company technicians provide monitoring and maintenance services.
The WaterCycle® system at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy headquarters continues to function as the facility’s primary water supply, and up to today has recycled more than 600,000 gallons of water.
“It [WaterCycle® purified water] was so clean – it was cleaner than any other water I could drink.”
– Rich Cochran
The pilot study set in motion the unanimous passage of State Senate Bill 179 of the 130th General Assembly, expanding the list of sources for private water systems to include recycled water. The law empowers the Ohio Department of Health to adopt regulations that will eventually dictate the requirements for ongoing regulatory compliance of building-scale closed-loop water recycling systems.