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Google details its use of treated wastewater at Georgia data center

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Google realized it didn't need to use drinkable water to cool its Georgia data center, so it worked out a deal with the local water authority to siphon 30-percent of treated waste water that would otherwise flow into the prized Chattahoochee River and use that instead.

Google pipes
Google pipes

Google has pledged to make water use a priority in its efforts to be a good environmental citizen, and the company has provided new details about its use of treated water at its Georgia data center. Google says it quickly realized that it didn't need to use drinkable water to cool its servers, so it worked out a deal with the local water authority to siphon 30-percent of treated waste water that would otherwise flow into the prized Chattahoochee River and use that instead. Google says that its data centers use "half the energy of a typical data center," in part because it uses "evaporative cooling" — a method that brings cold water into the data center and releases it as water vapor through cooling towers. With the new water source, Google says that it now uses recycled water for 100-percent of its cooling needs at the Georgia center — and the water that doesn't evaporate gets sent to an on-site treatment plant where Google cleans it and sends it to the Chattahoochee river "clean, clear, and safe."