The first step in designing a natural water reclamation system is to understand your existing water usage. Before an efficient design for the Omega Center for Sustainable Living was determined, a complete water conservation program was designed and put into place at Omega, including low-flow toilets and low-flow fixtures in sinks and showers. By examining water usage, not just water treatment, Omega was able to achieve the highest level of efficiency in both the construction and operation of its water reclamation system, the Eco Machine™. We also achieved the three criteria we set out for reclaiming all water used on campus: the Eco Machine™ uses net zero energy and zero chemicals to process Omega's wastewater, and it is housed in the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, an educational facility.
Omega considers water to be a precious resource. As Omega CEO Skip Backus says, "If you're calling it waste, then you've just decided to end the process in the wrong place." With the completion of the OCSL, all water on our campus is used and purified in a closed hydrological loop. Omega's water is drawn from deep wells that tap a natural aquifer. Once the water is used—in showers, sinks, and toilets—it flows to the Eco Machine™ at the OCSL, which cleans the water by mimicking nature's purification process. The purified water is then safely dispersed back to recharge the aquifer.
Within the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, our water reclamation efforts go a step further. Rainwater is collected, purified, and then used for both maintenance purposes and in the building's toilets. When the toilets are flushed, the water is then processed by the Eco Machine™.