Following final testing by the City of Santa Clara Water and Sewer Utilities, Levi’s® Stadium has been connected to the city’s recycled water system, making it the first stadium in California to utilize the drought-proof water source. The milestone brings Levi’s® Stadium one step closer to a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Recycled water will account for about 85 percent of all water used in Levi’s® Stadium – setting a new standard for stadiums that aspire to be environmentally sensitive by conserving natural resources.
Recycled water will be used at Levi’s® Stadium for playing field irrigation, a 27,000 square foot green roof, flushing toilets, and cooling tower make-up water. Inside, the stadium is dual plumbed with recycled water used for toilet flushing. Other stadiums in the U.S. are plumbed for recycled water use, but none are using it to the extent and in the myriad of ways as Levi’s® Stadium.
“Utilizing recycled water in so many different spaces and in such a variety of ways was a challenging proposition,” said Chris de Groot, the City’s Director of Water and Sewer Utilities. “We had to develop a new way to test both potable and recycled systems for a building of this size, and get approval from the California Department of Public Health. Through innovation and cooperative partnerships, we were able to achieve this new standard.”
The recycled water system will be a key element in the quest to make Levi’s® Stadium the greenest stadium in the country and the first NFL stadium to open with a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Other green features include energy efficient systems, solar power, and the use of recycled construction materials.
“With California experiencing historic drought conditions, the timing couldn’t be better to showcase the benefits of using recycled water whenever and wherever possible,” said San Francisco 49ers Vice President, Stadium Operations Jim Mercurio. “Fans visiting the stadium will become more aware of the importance and viability of incorporating recycled water to encourage a sustainable Bay Area water supply.”
The City of Santa Clara is recognized for having one of the most progressive recycled water programs in Northern California, with recycled water accounting for 15 percent of its water supply. The program was honored with the American City & County Award of Merit and is the recipient of the 2014 Recycled Water Agency of the Year award from California WaterReuse Association.
The City’s Recycled Water System is a cooperative venture of the City of Santa Clara, South Bay Water Recycling, the regional wholesaler of recycled water, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.