Sustainable Innovation in Water Management and Quality

By Eva Klein, USGBC-Missouri
Gateway Chapter Intern

From region to region across the U.S., and worldwide, issues surrounding water use, water infrastructure, and water quality are prevalent and varied. Communities large and small within the Mississippi River Basin confront issues of water abundance and flooding while other parts of the U.S. face water scarcity and drought. The St. Louis Region recently marked the 25th anniversary of the Great Flood of ’93, collectively reminding us of the power of water and the potential impact of future flooding.

How can our buildings and communities – each unique in their location, structure, and function – adapt to their conditions and embrace innovative approaches towards more sustainable water use and wastewater management?

As advocates for green buildings and communities, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter will host a full-day exploration of sustainable water infrastructure this Fall. Bringing together expertise from across the nation and throughout the St. Louis Region, the event will feature local success stories and partnerships, infrastructure challenges, and case studies from corporations and institutions on environmental stewardship, water efficiency, and water quality. Attendees will walk away with new knowledge to more critically analyze their approach to water use, management and quality.

Keynote presenter Pete Munoz will introduce attendees to a number of precedent-setting projects, including Hassalo on Eighth, a large multi-use residential urban redevelopment project in Portland, Oregon that treats its wastewater for reuse onsite (60,000 gallons per day), redirecting it away from stressed city sewer infrastructure. Through this state of the art project he will identify cutting edge technology and design that truly reduces a building’s ecological footprint. In addition to exploring real-life innovative solutions, Pete will discuss regulatory barriers and future possibilities for the industry.

Continuing on the design strand, architect Michael Willis will share stories of community engagement in the reimagining of wastewater treatment facilities. As suburban development expands, proximity to wastewater treatment facilities increases. In response, Michael will discuss how facilities can be designed as neighborhood amenities that make the invisible visible.

In what can be the most water intensive facilities, hospitals play a critical role in efforts towards water conservation. Lois Sechrist, Manager of the Ascension Environmental Stewardship Program for Medxcel will touch upon sustainable water infrastructure in healthcare and its important role in promoting wellness.

Water quality will also be analyzed in detailed conversations regarding new water quality testing and the dilemmas of why and how contaminants lodge in piping.

This unique Continuing Education Blitz will deepen your knowledge on water infrastructure in the St. Louis region and beyond. The event will be held at the Missouri History Museum in Forest park on September 14th from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

For more information and registration visit www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events.